Farmers’ views sought for university study into rural crime

By Chris Betteley in Farming

RESEARCHERS at Aberystwyth University are calling on farmers in the Dyfed-Powys Police area to contribute to a new study on rural crime.

The Rural Crime Study is led by Wyn Morris and Dr David Dowell from Aberystwyth Business School and Dr Gareth Norris from the Department of Psychology.

Available as a paper questionnaire and online until Friday, 30 June, the study asks for details about farms and farmers’ experiences of farm-related crimes.

It also seeks their views on police attitude towards thefts from farms and their trust in their local communities, the police and the legal system.

The findings will inform new initiatives being developed by Dyfed-Powys Police to tackle rural crime and provide advice to farmers on how best to report farm theft.

Dr Norris said: “This study has been designed to get a better understanding of the true extent of rural crime and the challenges it poses to the farming community and the police.”

The National Rural Crime Network survey published in 2015 suggested the true cost of crime in rural areas in England and Wales could exceed £800m, significantly higher than previous estimates.

A study published by NFU Mutual in 2016 reported that ATV/quad bikes, machinery, farm and commercial tools and livestock were in the top five items targeted by thieves.

The online version of the Rural Crime Study can be viewed at aber.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/rural-crime-study-1.

See this week’s south editions for the full story, in shops and online on Wednesday

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