In 2016 we hosted the first Rural Crime Survey. Over 1000 of you responded. 25% of participants had been victims of fuel thefts, 35% had had a theft of stock or farm equipment in the previous 2 years and 26% had stock stolen in the previous 5 years, with more than 3% having been hit by stock thieves five times or more since 2011.
Nearly half of property thefts and 75% of stock rustling/killing were not covered by insurance, and of those that were, 40-50 per cent of farmers did not make a claim - usually because of the excess on the policy.
Common reasons cited included that farmers didn’t think police would be interested, that police resources were too stretched, or that the theft was discovered days or weeks after it happened.
When the survey results were launched, we gained attention of the police and have been working with them since to identify what rural communities need and to host rural crime workshops.
Police first and foremost want to hear about all offending. It helps the local police build a comprehensive picture of what crime is happening, where and at what time. They can direct their resources accordingly, and it considerably boosts the chances of making arrests, or at the least providing accurate information and warnings distributed via Rural Neighbourhood Support and other networks. Reported crime also underpins the case for extra police resourcing for rural areas.
Now the survey data is coming up 5 years old, we are running our survey again with some small tweaks that you, our members, suggested. The survey isn’t just about incidents, reported or unreported. We also want to hear about how you keep your property secure, how you choose to insure your property and if you do (or don’t) have community watch groups.
To complete the survey now so you can inform us about how rural crime does (or hopefully, doesn’t) impact you and your community.