Rise in rural crime is a worrying trend that needs to be addressed quickly

The worrying rise in rural crime needs to be sharply addressed for multiple reasons. This is not just a case of protecting countryside communities but also protecting the nation’s food security.

The very farmers that Britain is reliant on and should be relying on more to meet both food and climate challenges, are being undermined by the scourge of criminal gangs.

There is a need for a rural crime strategy that connects various government departments together.

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A one size fits all approach to policing doesn’t work and to be fair to many police forces they understand this.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer visited Selby. PIC: Joe Giddens/PA WireLabour leader Sir Keir Starmer visited Selby. PIC: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer visited Selby. PIC: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Effective policing methods deployed in built up urban areas won’t be successful in the countryside and vice versa owing to the very unique characteristics of the countryside.

And in fact crime rates are surging faster in rural areas than urban ones with crime surging by 32 per cent since 2011 in the countryside, compared to 24 per cent for urban areas.

As the Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer did the rounds in Selby, it is clear why the Opposition would make a strong pitch on tackling rural crime.

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But rural voters will be used to seeing Westminster politicians donning their wellies around every election before disappearing for another five years.

Too often people in the countryside are treated as out of sight out of mind. A trend that cannot continue to go on, as recent global events have shown.

Over the past year North Yorkshire has seen a 20 per cent rise in possession of weapons offences, 18 per cent rise in vehicle offences and 15 per cent rise in theft offences.

It isn’t just loss of property or damage but disruption to farming activities as well. Precious time lost. Time that could go towards strengthening the nation’s food security.

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