Rural crime is an issue for large areas of the country, including Eddisbury townships like Tarporley, but it tends to go unreported. It can impact insurance premiums, food prices and damage local communities.
Sometimes it can be hard to know whether something is a crime, and whether to contact Cheshire Constabulary, or another charity or organisation.
Rural crime tends to fall into one of four categories: agricultural, equine, wildlife or heritage.
It can also fall under environmental crime, which covers the scourges of illegal waste dumping, fly tipping, polluting watercourses and land.
I would like to reassure you that I understand the high importance of this issue to those in our part of Cheshire, and I was pleased to be elected on a manifesto in 2019 which included a strong commitment to using additional police resources to tackle rural crime.
Furthermore, John Dwyer—the Conservative candidate recently elected as Cheshire's Police & Crime Commissioner for the second time—reassured us recently:
I’ll hold the Chief Constable to account to reduce the amount of crime being committed and to increase the number of crimes detected. I’ll also be asking him to develop strategies to address key issues in our communities including anti-social behaviour and rural crime.
I know that police visibility is important to Cheshire residents, and over the coming years I am committed to recruiting 240 more frontline police officers, taking our establishment to 2,320 by 2024.
The first cross-government rural proofing report has now been published. This report sets out the various innovative ways in which rural needs are being successfully identified and met, and I welcome that it specifically recognises the importance to rural communities of tackling rural crime.
I am assured by this report that my ministerial colleagues remain committed to protecting the public, and are determined to drive down crime in both rural and urban areas.
The commitment made by the Prime Minister to put more officers back on our streets is an important step forward. Boris Johnson made it clear in his first speech on the steps of Downing Street that making our streets (and fields!) safer is a key priority.
I hope that you will agree that the recruitment of 20,000 new police officers shows the Government’s determination in this task. You may be pleased to know that nearly 9,000 police officers have been recruited since the Government launched its 20,000 new officers (by March 2023) recruitment drive.
While it is an operational matter for our Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable to decide where and how police officers are deployed, I know that rural forces across the country are working hard to maintain capacity in respect of rural crimes—not just here in leafy Cheshire.
I understand too that the National Rural Crime Network highlights the main issues that affect rural communities and rural businesses, and works to achieve greater understanding of the impacts of rural crime. The Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Home Office also work closely with the National Rural Crime Network, as well as the National Police Chiefs’ Council Wildlife Crime Network, to help identify and tackle rural crime issues.
If you want to find out more about rural crime, how it affects Tarporley and the surrounding countryside, and what you can do to help protect our town, farms and rich agricultural land, please visit edwardtimpson.com/ruralcrime, where you'll find links to all sorts of information and advice, including a copy of the Cheshire section of the Countryside Alliance's 2020 crime survey, and links to the organisations and documents mentioned in this article, amongst others!
If you think an offence has or is about to be committed, let Cheshire Constabulary know. You can report a crime online at www.cheshire.police.uk, or anonymously through Crimestoppers online at crimestoppers-uk.org, or by freephone on 0800 555 111.
Do remember that if it's an emergency situation, dial 999. Otherwise the police can be reached on 101 for non-emergencies.
If you’re not sure if the problem is a crime, the police would rather hear from you and determine that themselves, so better to be safe than sorry.
Keep in touch
Members of Parliament can help their constituents by advising on problems (particularly those that arise from the work of Government departments), and representing the concerns of their constituents in Parliament.
So if you need to get in touch, on this or any other matter, please click here to email me and sign up to my Eddisbury Report e-newsletter.
You will find my other contact details there too, including my Tarporley constituency office.
Further information on rural crime
Please do visit the following websites and read the documents below to find advice and see how you can help combat rural crime!
Cheshire Constabulary Rural Crime
Rural crime is an issue for large areas of the country but it tends to go unreported. It can impact on insurance premiums, food prices and damage local communities. Find out what rural crime is and what can be done to prevent it.
Cheshire's Conservative Police & Crime Commissioner, responsible for policing strategy.
National Rural Crime Network
Works to see greater recognition and understanding of the problems and impact of crime in rural areas so more can be done to keep people safer.
UK National Wildlife Crime Unit
The main role of the NWCU is to assist in the prevention and detection of wildlife crime.
Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime
PAW is a collaboration of organisations who work together to reduce wildlife crime through prevention and awareness-raising, better regulation, and effective and targeted enforcement.
Rural crime statistics
Incidence rates of crime in rural and urban areas.
Countryside (a membership category of the National Farmers' Union)
Rural crime: what you can do to help! Did you know that rural crime cost the UK £49.9 million in 2018?
National Farmers' Union
Prevent and report rural crime with the NFU's dedicated hub!