Make rural crime top priority ahead of local elections, says CLA

26 April 2021

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) is urging Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) candidates to do more to protect rural communities from crime.

The group, which represents 28,000 farmers and land managers across England and Wales, has written to every candidate asking them to support five key proposals ahead of the elections on 6 May.

The CLA’s rural crime manifesto asks candidates to focus on the following: 

  • wildlife crime 
  • greater support for the National Rural Crime Network 
  • prevention of crime against rural businesses 
  • more joined-up enforcement work
  • improved education around the Countryside Code

Mark Bridgeman, President of the CLA, said:

“Rural crime continues to devastate our communities which are so often threatened and intimidated by callous criminals.

“But in this election PCC candidates have a golden opportunity to show they are serious about protecting rural communities through targeted funding and adaptation of policing for rural areas.

“While some police forces have boosted their efforts to tackle rural crime, many are inadequately resourced.”

According to a recent report, 69% of farmers and rural business owners have been a victim of crime over a 12-month period. 

And the CLA estimates that the average financial impact of rural crime per incident costs nearly £5,000.

Mr Bridgeman added:

“With the elections just weeks away, it’s paramount that PCCs understand the financial and psychological damage inflicted upon victims of crime in rural areas, and develop a meaningful strategy to reduce it.

“Any candidate worth their salt should back our manifesto, and promise to work with us to make our communities safer.”

Read the CLA’s manifesto here