|New rural crime figures from Northumbria Police show that in the last 12 months:|
|• All Burglary is down 47%.|
|• All vehicle crime is down 35%.|
|• Theft of Quads is down 70% from 37 to 11.|
FARMS across the Northumbria Police Force area have seen a fall in thefts during lockdown and the plan is to keep driving the numbers down, says Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness.
Over all, in the last 12 month period there have been 517 fewer rural crimes recorded compared to the previous 12 months.
Welcoming the figures Kim McGuinness explained that lockdown had been a contributing factor in the fall but a range of proactive investigations and prevention work from dedicated police officers has also contributed to the recent success.
She said: “While the figures reflect an usual lockdown period, they still represent lots of hard work by Northumbria Police in the fight against rural crime.
“We are fortunate that Northumbria continues to be an area least affected by rural crime compared to other parts of the country – but that’s not to say it’s not happening – it is.
“I understand the negative impact rural crime can have on our communities too, but there is a real positive in the way that volunteers and local partners come together in the fight against this type of crime.
“We can’t be complacent though – far from it. It’s so important to me that these communities feel heard, well-connected and supported by their police force. Our rural crime volunteers are also a key connection and we’re working closely on crime prevention with local people, farmers, businesses, and organisations like the National Farmers’ Union.
“In the aftermath of Covid we don’t want these numbers to creep back up – we want to keep on driving the crime figures down.
“I hope these numbers send a clear message to criminals that operate in the countryside – the Northumbria Police force areas is not an easy target.”
Superintendent Andy Huddleston helps to oversee Northumbria Police’s policing of rural communities but also holds the national policing portfolio for cracking down on the theft of agricultural machinery.
He said: “As the national policing lead looking to address this type of offending, I understand how organised criminals who target our countryside residents and businesses operate. They identify victims and view their crimes as having a low risk and high reward. They target high-value machinery that is often kept on farms or away from residential dwellings.
“Due to the isolated location of many of their victims, they feel emboldened that they can steal this property and make off without being caught. But I want to make it clear that we have been working hard over the past two years to make rural communities such as Northumberland a hostile place for criminals to operate in.
“We are making it increasingly difficult to commit rural crime in our area and that is something the local community and land owners have helped us with. In particular, I want to recognise the efforts of our very successful rural crime volunteers, supported by our rural dedicated crime team, who are fighting back against these thieves.
“We don’t underestimate the catastrophic impact rural crime can have on the farming industry and how it can ruin the lives of those who dedicate themselves to working the land. So let us make it clear – reducing this type of offending is a priority and it is something we will not tolerate in Northumberland, or any of our rural areas.
“We will continue to work hard, alongside our communities, to make Northumberland a hostile place for criminals and ensure offenders are put before the courts, and ultimately behind bars.”
Notes to editors:
12 month comparisons have been drawn between 18/06/2019-17/06/2020 and 18/06/2020-17/06/2021.