Tuesday 04 Aug 2020
Rural Crime is decreasing in North Wales, despite an increase across the rest of the UK where organised gangs have targeted machinery and livestock.
The NFU Mutual annual report on rural crime claims for the UK specifically highlights Wales experiencing an increase of 11% for 2019 over the figures for 2018, but North Wales has seen a 20% reduction.
Rob Taylor, manager of the North Wales Police Rural Crime Team explained the report does not break down the data in Wales to highlight the areas where the most value in claims have been made, as it does each year in detail for England.
Mr Taylor said: “This lack of information can paint a pessimistic picture for rural Wales as a whole, when in fact a lot of excellent work is taking place with the involvement of many officers and our dedicated Rural Crime Teams.”
“We have an excellent relationship with the NFU Mutual, however although the recent report does highlight the cost of claims in Wales it is not an accurate indicator of rural crime in our area.”
“The report only highlights the cost of claims and not the specifics of areas or the number of crimes. Our figures in North Wales have shown a 20% decrease in rural crime reports over the same period which highlights the work of our team and the investment and importance given to this specialist area of policing.”
North Wales Police were the first force to introduce a dedicated team of its type in the UK and are now one of 3 similar teams in Wales who tackle rural crime on a daily basis. Recent statistics have shown a dramatic decrease in livestock attacks by dogs in North Wales during the past year, as well as a 90% drop in reported wildlife offences over the past 12 years, which shows the true value of a dedicated team of specialist rural officers.
Mr Taylor added: “Discussions have taken place with NFU Mutual in regards to their report and how best we can help each other next year in its preparation, with the overall objective of reducing crime and increasing public reassurance in our rural communities.”
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones said: “I am proud of the efforts of the Rural Crime Team who are doing a great job in reducing the level of crime in the North Wales countryside.
“That’s why last year three extra constables were added to the team of four PCs and three Police Community Support Officers headed by team manager Rob Taylor, bringing its numbers up to 11 officers.
“This is a field where North Wales is leading the way and the team led by Rob Taylor is doing a fantastic job and being recognised for the way they are dealing with rural crime and wildlife issues but it is vital to continue to support them.
“They have also been integral to the formation of similar teams in Dyfed-Powys, with whom we work very closely, and in Gwent.
“The extra staff in North Wales will mean that these partnerships and those neighbouring forces in England will be strengthened.”