Huge public support for strong action to curb rural crime

Nearly 70,000 members of the public have backed the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) calls for immediate action to tackle rural crime, demonstrating a consensus to create a safer, cleaner and greener rural Britain.

As newly elected Police and Crime Commissioners take up their posts, more than 50,000 people have signed an open letter demanding action to tackle fly-tipping, including working more closely with local authorities and landowners on prevention, clean-up and prosecution.

A further 19,000 have supported changes to legislation to prevent dog attacks on farm animals, including increasing fines and giving police more powers to seize dogs.

This support follows years of NFU campaigning on the issue and coincides with a government commitment today to give police new powers to respond to incidents.

Rural crime is ‘devastating for a farmer’

NFU deputy president Stuart Roberts said:

“Not a week goes by where I don’t hear from a farmer about an industrial-scale amount of rubbish being dumped on their farm, or a farmer losing sheep as a result of a savage dog attack on his flock.

Such incidents are devastating for a farmer.

“Not only does it hurt their ability to produce food and damage the work they’ve done for the environment, but it has a huge toll on farming families.

“The farm is not only our place of work but also our home. To be subject to these crimes on such a regular basis is unacceptable,” he added.

“It’s clear from the numbers supporting our campaign that the public back the police taking action to rid rural Britain of this scourge.

They hugely value the benefits the countryside brings, and they don’t want it blighted by huge dumps of litter on the side of the road or farm animals attacked by out of control dogs.

“I hope the election of new Police and Crime Commissioners can act as a reset moment.

“I would urge them to take rural crime seriously, understanding its links to organised crime, and commit to levelling up policing for both urban and rural areas to create a safer, cleaner and greener rural Britain,” he concluded.