Posted: Mon 23rd Aug 2021

New campaign launched in a bid to tackle rural crime across Wales

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Aug 23rd, 2021

Crimestoppers has launched an appeal for anonymous information to help protect rural communities across Wales.

The charity is calling on everyone to play their part in stopping rural crime as more of us are visiting the countryside during the pandemic.

Criminal gangs can exploit local wildlife, environment and communities in many ways – often leaving rural residents often feel unsafe in their own homes.

In the year to April 2021, Crimestoppers nationally received nearly 2,700 anonymous reports about rural crime.

Whilst this is a 14% increase on the year before, the charity says it suggests a degree of under-reporting.

From its latest claims’ statistics issued earlier this month, NFU Mutual estimates that rural theft cost the UK a staggering £43.3m in 2020 and £1.6m for Wales.

Crimestoppers has been working with Mitie and Neighbourhood Watch to help raise the profile of rural crime. They want people to know what it is, why it’s a problem and what the public can do to help.

The charity’s 4-week local and national campaign is supported by NFU Mutual, RSPCA, Countryside Alliance, NFU, Openreach, FireStoppers, Link, National Wildlife Crime Unit, Environment Agency, CLA and the Angling Trust.

Key themes will focus on wildlife crime, environmental crime and theft, all of which have a detrimental and often crushing affect rural communities.

Hayley Fry, National Manager for Wales at the charity Crimestoppers, said: “Our charity knows how damaging crime in the countryside can be: to local communities, to rural businesses, to farmers, wildlife and the environment.

“Every day we hear from people who are in the know about those involved in damaging our beautiful Welsh countryside, but there is so much more we can do. By telling us anonymously what you know, whether you live or are visiting rural areas, your information can help make all the difference.

“A team of professionals working at our charity’s UK Contact Centre anonymise all information received – to ensure the person giving the details is never identified – before passing it on to police to investigate. Your voice really can make a difference. Working together, we can help protect our precious countryside and rural environment, communities and business from the harm caused by these criminal gangs.”

John Hayward-Cripps, Chief Executive of Neighbourhood Watch Network, said: “With headlines often focused on crime in the cities, it is easy to forget rural crime, but rural crime is increasing and is a serious issue. From hare coursing to machinery theft, the impact of rural crime on victims’ lives and livelihood can be enormous, with victims often left with long-term anxiety. Together we can stop it.”

To report rural crime 100% anonymously, visit the charity’s website Crimestoppers-uk.org and fill in a simple and secure anonymous online form or call their 24/7 UK Contact Centre on freephone 0800 555 111, 365 days of the year. In an emergency, always call 999.

Please note: Computer IP addresses are never traced and no-one will ever know you contacted Crimestoppers. For telephone calls, there is no caller line display, no 1471 facility and the charity has never traced a call.

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