Farmers’ union launches new rural crime manifesto

NFU Cymru has teamed up with North Wales Police Rural Crime Team to launch a new rural crime manifesto at this year’s Royal Welsh Show.

The Combating Rural Crime report features case studies that explore issues faced by farmers and their families throughout Wales and the UK, including vehicle theft and fly-tipping.

Hedd Pugh, NFU Cymru Rural Affairs Board Chairman said: “The cost of rural crime in the UK reached £42.5 million in 2015 and NFU Cymru is asking Government and the Home Office to ensure increased and fairer funding for rural policing. More than 1,000 rural police stations in the UK closed between 2000 and 2012, directly impacting the level of police surveillance.

“There are many very good examples of police forces taking action and implementing good practice to deal with rural crime, with great success. Indeed, North Wales Police Rural Crime Team are one of the leading rural crime teams in the UK. They have been very proactive in engaging with the agricultural community in order to understand the problems and look at tangible solutions, and this should be praised.

“But we believe more joined-up thinking is needed from police forces together with local authorities and Government to address these issues. NFU Cymru would like Government to take the lead to ensure all constabularies adopt strategies of accurate recording and target setting and are willing to work together to find positive solutions to these challenges. Farmers should not be seen as a soft target for criminals.”

The Combatting Rural Crime report was launched in Wales at the Royal Welsh Show during the NFU Cymru and North Wales Police Rural Crime team’s joint seminar on 24 July.

PC Dave Allen, who led the seminar on behalf of the North Wales Police Rural Crime Team, said: “It is apparent to anybody involved in agriculture that the whole issue surrounding livestock attacks is becoming more and more of a problem.  With attacks often involving the death of animals, distraught livestock keepers and pet owners, it is plain to see there are no winners with a livestock attack. The focus of the seminar is about prevention and education – the nature of attacks, the scale of the problem, police response and the issues with the current legislation. Therefore, I welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with NFU Cymru to tackle this issue head on.”

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