Wiltshire buck national trend and see the cost of rural crime fall by 36%
NFU Mutual have today released their annual Rural Crime Report. It shows that rural crime cost their Wiltshire customers over £527,000 in 2018, which is a fall of 36.3% from over £829,000 in 2017.
It is great to see Wiltshire bucking the national trend, where rural crime was up 12%, but this does not mean we will become complacent. We are fully committed to continuing our work to help protect rural communities in Wiltshire.
Police and Crime Commissioner Mr Angus Macpherson said, "The figures from today's NFU Mutual Rural Crime Report are encouraging and a testament to some of the great work being done by our Rural Crime Team and Community Policing Teams around the county. We are committed to continuing this work and investing further in tackling rural crime.
"The Rural Crime Team has two full time officers and I have also funded training 20 of our Community Policing Team officers, who work around the county, as wildlife and heritage crime officers. They work closely alongside partner agencies to highlight what they can do to assist us in policing our rural communities.
"We also continue to engage with our rural communities and our partners with a vested interest in tackling rural crime directly through the Rural Crime Partnership. This allows us to keep our finger on the pulse of what regarding the challenges they are facing, and work together to tackle them."
Rural Crime Officer PC Marc Jackson said, "The latest figures from the NFU Mutual Rural Crime Report showing a fall in rural crime costs in the south west, bucking the national trend, is really encouraging but it certainly doesn't mean we will become complacent.
"Wiltshire is a predominantly rural county, and we work really hard with those living and working within our rural communities to help reduce their risks of falling victim to crimes which could heavily impact on their livelihoods. We regularly promote the importance of security at rural locations - at both private and public addresses - including CCTV, anti-poaching ditches and the installation of GPS trackers on equipment. We have two bespoke operations in Wiltshire to tackle poaching (Op Artemis) and heritage crime (Op Apollo) and have recently launched a 'Police Stop Me' sticker initiative to help combat vehicle and machinery theft.
"We have made some significant advances in the way in which we police rural crime in recent years, however, criminals are becoming more organised and determined and are using more sophisticated technology so there is always more that can be done.
"Criminals aren't the only ones embracing technology though. We were lucky enough to receive funding from the NFU and Historic England for a new drone specifically for the rural crime team to use. This will help us cover large areas of farmland quickly and will be invaluable in catching criminals. We also utilise social media groups to connect our isolated communities and share information."
Wiltshire Police continue to encourage people to report all rural crimes, however small, to the police on 101, or 999 if a crime is in progress.