It’s estimated that rural crime costs at least £750,000 in Warwickshire - a rise of 16% from the previous year (2015) – and over £42 million nationally.
There has been a sharp increase in the theft of livestock, expensive tractors and recent intelligence suggests that organised criminals are specifically targeting British farms and machinery dealers. The problem affects communities, businesses, farmers and manufacturers.
Helping to stamp out rural crime
Opportunistic criminals are targeting animals, quad bikes, fuel and farm tools in the area as these can be easily sold. Other rural crime happening locally includes:
- Theft of farm machinery
- Theft of diesel & batteries
- Farm building burglaries
- Theft of metal for scrap value
- Hare coursing & poaching
- Horse and animal theft
Scene it Herd it aims to highlight the main crimes affecting people living and working in Warwickshire’s countryside and help prevent rural crime.
Crimestoppers is working closely with agencies such as NFU Mutual, Horse Watch, and Rural Watch to spread the word that there is a safe, anonymous way to report crime.
Duncan Hawley, Chairman of the NFU Warwickshire says: “We urge farmers and those in rural communities to remain vigilant and keep an eye out for suspicious people or vehicles. Unfortunately thieves do target farms and we would urge members to take extra security steps if possible, including locking gates and ensuring outbuildings are secure where they can. The key message has to be one of vigilance and to make use of Crimestoppers.”
Rural crime has a negative impact on communities
The crime that happens in rural areas can have a hugely negative impact on communities. We are urging people to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police but also community watch schemes.
Philip Seccombe, Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire, said: “Warwickshire is not a soft target. Ensuring people report crime in rural areas is important, so I’m delighted to see Crimestoppers launch the `Scene it Herd it’ campaign in the county. It will help boost awareness of rural crime and also provide a welcome reminder that Crimestoppers is another way that people can provide information anonymously.”
We're hoping this campaign will help stamp out rural crime in Warwickshire by making the public aware of the issue and encouraging more people to speak out about the perpetrators.
“Rural crime causes loss of income, stress and anxiety to victims. We are launching this campaign during the lambing season and highlighting theft of livestock which is particularly challenging at this time of year.
- Pauline Hadley, Crimestoppers’ Regional Manager for the West Midlands
If you have information on rural crime, you can contact us anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or filling in our Anonymous Online Form.