Call to quickly tackle Wales-wide scourge of rural crime

August 05, 2020

The Welsh Conservatives’ Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Energy and Rural Affairs and member for Aberconwy – Janet Finch-Saunders MS – has called for a Wales-wide plan of action to confront the scourge of rural crime.

Her calls come as NFU Mutual's annual rural crime report found that rural crime has cost Welsh businesses £2.6m over the last year. Overall, the cost of rural crime has risen by 11.1% in 2019, compared to 2018. This increase is higher than the average UK rise of 8.8%.

Commenting on the increase in instances, Janet said: “I am deeply concerned by the rising cost of rural crime, with these latest figures underlining the sad fact that it remains a debilitating issue for our essential rural businesses.

"All too often, I hear from farmers and agricultural workers who have fallen victim to opportunistic thieves and organised criminal networks. When you consider that these items are stolen from land which is both a farmer’s home and workplace, these crimes often have a lasting mental impact.

"As 84% of farmers under 40 now believe that mental health is the single biggest danger facing the industry, rural crime has become an added and unnecessary everyday concern for our agricultural heroes.

“We must work to implement a Wales-wide plan of action which confronts rural crime in a scheme that would allow our rural communities and law enforcement to share intelligence and best practice.

"With such large geographical areas in play, the plan should also promote investment in rural technologies that better compliment current resources.”