Julia comments on Countryside Alliance’s report on rural crime
Commenting on the report, Julia Mulligan – North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and Chair of the National Rural Crime Network, said:
“The Countryside Alliance’s findings come as no surprise. Since I was elected in 2012, one of my priorities has been a relentless focus on rural crime. There have been improvements – such as the setting up of the Rural Taskforce which means policing is more visible in our rural communities – but there is much more to do. It is encouraging this progress is recognised though with more crimes reported to police in North Yorkshire than elsewhere in the country, and policing being rated significantly more positively here.
“There is only so much we can do in North Yorkshire though. Those in positions of power still like to portray rural Britain as an idyllic place where there is no crime and nothing to worry about. This could not be further from the truth. Fly-tipping, theft of machinery and wildlife crimes like poaching and rustling not only create fear and frustrating but have a significant impact on livelihoods – if a tractor is stolen, crops can’t be harvested; if rubbish is dumped on your land, the landowner has to pay to clear it; if fencing is damaged, the farmer’s animals can escape.
“We need action and we need it now. I fully support the recommendations of the Countryside Alliance which all come down to the basic point – that crime in rural areas is serious, and it deserves to be taken seriously.”