The psychological effects can be felt for a long time after the crime has taken place.
The CLA is asking Police and Crime Commissioner candidates to help in the fight against rural crime.
Ahead of the PCC elections on May 6, CLA Midlands – which represents thousands of farmers, landowners and rural businesses in the region – has this week written to all candidates in Cheshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and West Mercia regions.
It is asking them to commit to a rural manifesto focusing on the following five priorities:
- wildlife crime
- support for the National Rural Crime Network
- a focus on tackling crime against businesses
- greater joined-up enforcement work, and;
- an effort to promote education and the Countryside Code.
Regional Director Mark Riches said: “Police and Crime Commissioners have the wherewithal to make a difference and can help protect rural communities through targeted funding, resourcing and training.
“For many CLA members, rural crime is a blight as criminals are often emboldened by the isolation of rural communities, leaving families, farmers and business owners feeling vulnerable and powerless.
“We enjoy good relationships with our police forces at all levels and, while much good work is already being done, teams can be inadequately resourced to investigate and prevent criminal activity in the countryside.”
In a survey last year, 38% of the 8,000 people who took part had fallen victim to rural crime in the preceding 12 months, and the CLA says that the psychological effects can be felt for a long time after the crime has taken place.
Mr Riches added: “Next month’s elections are an important opportunity to ensure that the next Police and Crime Commissioners not only understand the cost and impact of rural crime, but are committed to taking a stand and reducing it.”
More detail on the CLA’s five asks can be found here