North Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan said NFU Mutual’s report came as no surprise, with the reported rise in value of rural crime in Yorkshire corresponding with reports from local farmers.
She said the figures were “a timely reminder” that countryside communities need police forces which take crime in rural and urban areas equally seriously.
The police chief said she believed progress had been made in North Yorkshire since its dedicated Rural Taskforce was established last year.
Mrs Mulligan, who is responsible for one of the largest rural police forces in the country, said: “This report comes as no surprise as crime is currently on the rise across the country, although in North Yorkshire last year it fell slightly.
“The picture painted however does chime with feedback I’m receiving from farmers and others locally. The report itself is also useful in that it’s a timely reminder that rural areas need a strong police service, just as much as their urban counterparts.
“Having said all of this, I do believe that some progress has been made... North Yorkshire now has one of the largest dedicated rural crime teams in the country, and a significant investment in technology has been made that is proving to help the police with cross-border crime in particular.
“In addition, I very much welcome the Chief Constable’s appointment as the national lead on crime in rural areas. Can more be done? Should more be done? Very much so, and I will continue to champion the needs of our rural communities.”
Mrs Mulligan also chairs the National Rural Crime Network (NRCN) and she vowed: “I will continue to challenge the police on their commitment to rural areas as people living in the countryside deserve as strong a policing presence as their urban counterparts.
“So far, we have had some success in this work, for example on the back of the NRCN’s 2015 survey, we have seen a significant increase in the number of dedicated rural policing teams deployed around the country. However, there is still a way to go.”