Dorset Crimestoppers helped launch the new national initiative on preventing and solving rural crime on the first day of the campaign.
Vice Chair of the Dorset Committee, David Tharby, went to the Dorchester studio of BBC Radio Solent and took part in the 'Breakfast in Dorset' show with a primetime interview and discussion with presenter Steve Harris. Topics included the extensive use of social media, various dedicated Watch Groups, the National Farmers' Union (NFU), Police and our new Crimestoppers blog.
Although recognised as a relatively safe county, there is an element of crime that has a wide and potentially devastating impact on residents, rural businesses and farming communities in Dorset.
Typical rural crime includes:
- metal theft
- animal rustling
- wildlife crime
- theft of farm machinery, oil and equipment such as tractors and quad bikes
- theft of animal feed
These crimes and the associated physical damage cause major disruption to farmers, businesses and residents alike. These are the victims and the price we all have to pay include higher insurance premiums and increased food prices as the cost is absorbed down the production and supply chains.
Remember, there is no such thing as a victimless crime
The public in general, walkers, ramblers and anyone visiting or living in the countryside need to be the ears and eyes of this campaign and have the presence of mind to call Crimestoppers, totally anonymously, to report any suspicious activity. Look out for people behaving strangely, uninvited visitors to farm yards, doorstep callers to isolated homes, farms and businesses on a pretext of being lost or looking for something to buy for example scrap metal. Likewise, dodgy deals for cash in pubs and clubs could be the stolen goods being moved on and hare coursing, livestock theft and poaching are not solitary activities - if you hear about it call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via our Anonymous Online Form.
Around 70 per cent of all rural crimes are pre-planned and by gangs so someone, somewhere knows what is being planned or has been carried out.
With your help we can kick crime out of Dorset.