Rural crime campaign urges public to speak up

A new campaign has been launched encouraging people to speak up about those causing harm and damage to Scotland’s countryside and rural communities.

Mark Dowie
Friday, 22nd July 2022, 10:20am
Rural crime campaign urges public to speak up

The joint initiative between the charity Crimestoppers and Network Rail comes as the international tourist season returns following years of restrictions.

With many people planning trips to the countryside, the anticipated impact of large visitor numbers and effects of rural crime can be devastating to the environment.

More than 95% of Scotland is classed as rural and NFU Mutual estimates that rural crime costs Scotland around £1.8 million annually, with levels reportedly increasing.

While the volume of crime is lower than in urban areas, the consequences within a rural community or environment often have a deeper impact, both on the victim and community.

Crimestoppers, with Police Scotland and wider rural and environmental organisations, is asking the public to spot the signs of rural crime and give information anonymously.

The key crimes that Scotland’s rural areas experience include house-breaking; the theft of farm equipment; livestock-related crimes: theft and dog attacks; fly-tipping and industrial waste dumping; hare coursing and badger baiting; fuel theft and and wilful fire-raising

Angela Parker, Crimestoppers Scotland national manager, said: “Many of us will be enjoying the stunning scenery, events and activities Scotland has to offer. Our campaign is encouraging the public to be aware of the harm rural crime and antisocial behaviour can inflict on the environment and the economy. These crimes often go unreported and can ruin lives, livelihoods and the rural environment.

Inspector Alan Dron, Police Scotland rural and acquisitive crime co-ordinator, added: “The majority of individuals wanting to experience Scotland’s stunning cultural, historic and natural environments have a desire to do so responsibly and in accordance with the law. Please respect our rural communities and countryside, leave no trace of your visit and don’t let any individuals spoil your experience.”

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