The Welsh Government Minister for Rural Affairs has announced her intention to pilot a Coordinator role for one year here.
“More rural crime, and more public access to the countryside both mean more must be done to reassure rural communities are safe, and wildlife and our environment are protected,” says Nigel Hollett, Director CLA Cymru.
Responding to the Welsh Government’s announcement that an all-Wales Rural Crime Co-ordinator is to be piloted, Nigel adds, “It’s a significant acknowledgement that something’s got to be done, and our police forces need support proportionate to the challenges they face.”
“We’ve been calling for a rural crime taskforce to be created to support and work with the police forces, local authorities and other stakeholders. What terms-of-reference the Coordinator has, what resources he-or-she has, and the short time for the pilot to make a difference all need to be made clear.”
“The announcement is timely. Easement of the lockdown means that demand for all the countryside offers is likely to be intense again, as it was last summer. Rural businesses should be able to enjoy the fruits of this attention - and recover from the impact of the lockdowns - without fear for their security.”
“As the job-title suggests, we hope we can play our part in working closely with the Rural Crime Coordinator – and the role helps us to engage with our hard-working police-forces in Wales.
Nigel Hollett concludes, “We’re seeing an upsurge in rural crime: wildlife and environmental crime, livestock theft and dog-attacks, farm theft and fraud, arson, fly-tipping and damage and disrespect for privacy and property rights. It is an irony that during the pandemic lockdowns, crimes such as dog-theft have become front-page news while some rural beauty-spots have been magnets for unsociable and unsafe behaviour.”