The NFU has launched a new service for farmers and the public to give information anonymously about rural crime, in partnership with the charity Crimestoppers.
The ‘Rural Crime Reporting Line’ is part of the Union’s ongoing work to tackle the serious issues surrounding criminal behaviour on farms and in the wider countryside.
By ringing 0800 783 0137 or visiting www.ruralcrimereportingline.uk, farmers, rural businesses and the public can anonymously give information about crime relating to:
- large-scale, industrial fly-tipping
- hare coursing
- machinery theft; or
- livestock theft
NFU Cymru Rural Affairs, Chairman Hedd Pugh, said: “Rural crime can be devastating for farmers and their businesses, not only financially but can also cause a great amount of stress. Unfortunately is it is something that many of us experience all too often and with suspected links to organised crime, these crimes often go under-reported and its true extent remains unknown.
“We have teamed up with charity Crimestoppers to provide a service for farmers and the public to give information anonymously about these crimes. Any information passed to the police could help provide key leads in the pursuit of these criminals.
“NFU Cymru has also been working closely with Dyfed-Powys Police and has been instrumental in the setting up of a dedicated rural crime unit within the task force. Former Carmarthenshire County Chairman, Garry Williams, has been involved in the project from the start and is continuously working with the local police as well as the Police and Crime Commissioner to try and stamp out rural crime. We also have the North Wales Rural Police team who have done an excellent job for a number of years in focusing on rural crime in the north of the country.
“Together, all these services can work together to encourage anyone who has experienced, witnessed or has any information about rural crime incidences to report them.
“As a union, we have been consistently leading on engaging with MPs, government and police to help begin to put a stop to these destructive crimes. Nearly a year on from releasing our Rural Crime Report, the Union has brought this issue to the forefront of its activity and we continue to call on the Government to form a cross-departmental task force to focus on rural crime and address the failures in dealing with it.
“It is vital that we see some considerable action being taken by government and police to curb increasing levels of crime in the countryside, and the links we have forged within the force areas throughout Wales will, I’m sure, help this. This will allow farmers to do what we do best, caring for the environment and producing food for the nation.”
Crimestoppers’ Director of Business Development Rodger Holden said: “The NFU should be applauded for launching the Rural Crime Reporting Line in partnership with the charity Crimestoppers, on behalf of all farmers and their communities. This is a joined up initiative, supported by law enforcement, that strives to reduce and detect crimes that directly threaten people’s livelihoods, their peace of mind, and are a real cost to us all. We all have a responsibility to support the countryside by working together to combat criminal activity.”