Grim crime figures show police have work to do

Adam Bedford, regional director of the National Farmers' Union. Picture by James Hardisty.
Adam Bedford, regional director of the National Farmers' Union. Picture by James Hardisty.
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The regional director of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) said the new figures “make grim reading” and there is a lot of work to do within some parts of Yorkshire to tackle rural crime more effectively.

Adam Bedford said there is also a need for farmers to report all crime, and to report it in the right way to ensure the police understand the gravity of crimes.

“Concerns about the impact of rural crime are raised frequently by our members, so these new figures will make grim reading,” Mr Bedford said.

“Having said that, we now have better links with the police than ever before and while there is still a lot of work to do with some parts of the region lagging behind, there is a far greater recognition of the need to develop a more co-ordinated and targeted approach to tackling rural crime.

“There is also a need for farmers to report all crime, and report it in the right way, to ensure the police have a complete picture of what is happening on the ground.”

His comments follow a national NFU report on rural crime which was launched last month at an event in Westminster. It sets out a range of actions that the union believes should be taken by the Government, police and crime commissioners and chief constables to address rural crime.

The report calls on the Government to form a cross departmental rural crime taskforce, agree a definition of rural crime, ensure fair funding for rural policing and carry out research into rural crime and links to organised criminal networks.

Police and crime commissioners are asked to prioritise rural crime as a strategic objective and chief constables are urged to set up dedicated rural police teams, with modern communications technology and a better developed 101 system.

The Home Office has insisted that it is up to police and crime commissioners to effectively allocate resources to tackle rural crime in their areas.