The National Farmers' Union (NFU) is encouraging farmers and growers to take part in the Government’s Commercial Victimisation Survey to help add to the growing statistics database of the extent of rural crime.

The survey, which will include agricultural businesses for the second year in a row, is designed to monitor crime trends and identify any action that need to be taken to reduce crime in those areas.

The results of the survey last year reinforced what the NFU has been saying about the rising levels of rural crime:

  • 35% of rural businesses experienced trespassing;
  • 26% of rural businesses were affected by poaching or hare coursing;
  • 23% of rural businesses experienced quad biking or use of other vehicles on their land;
  • 15% of rural businesses suffered livestock worrying.

NFU chief land management adviser Sam Durham said: “For the Government to pass bills and put the correct legislation in place to tackle rural crime, it needs as much information as possible.

Getting agriculture involved in this research is important for the industry and it shows that the Home Office is taking the issues highlighted in the NFU’s Combatting Rural Crime Report seriously.

“I encourage all farmers and growers to get involved in the survey and help to contribute to the growing base of statistical evidence that rural crime is one of the most serious issues affecting the countryside at the moment.”

The Commercial Victimisation Survey will take place between September and December 2018.

Businesses are randomly selected to take part in the survey, which is run by the Home Office with independent researchers Ipsos Mori.

Those selected will receive a letter and a subsequent phone call between September and December 2018 to conduct an interview. The results are expected to be published in Spring 2019.

The NFU, together with Crimestoppers, has launched the Rural Crime Reporting Line to offer farmers, growers, rural businesses and the public the option to give information about four key crimes 100% anonymously.