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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.
It can be hard to know whether something is a crime and whether to contact the police or another charity or organisation.
Rural crime tends to fall into one of four categories:
It can also fall under environmental crime, which covers illegal waste dumping, fly tipping, polluting watercourses and land.
Agricultural crime covers working farms, farm machinery, farm buildings and smallholdings. Offences include theft of equipment or fuel, damage to property and livestock worrying.
Equine crime covers working stables and equestrian centres and includes offences like tack theft and livestock worrying.
Wildlife crime includes hare coursing, poaching and interfering with protected species. You can find out more about wildlife crime on our dedicated wildlife crime pages.
Heritage crime is defined as 'any offence which harms the value of Britain's heritage assets and their settings to this and future generations'.
That can include offences like lead theft from churches, damage to ancient monuments and illegal metal detecting.
Find out what you can do to protect yourself against these forms of rural crime.
If you’re not sure it’s a crime, we’d rather hear from you and determine that ourselves.
You can also anonymously report rural crime online using The National Farmers' Union's Rural Crime Reporting Line or calling 0800 783 0137. This lets you give information about crime relating to:
The Countrywatch scheme provides regular updates on crime and prevention advice. Find out more about Countrywatch and sign up and register for Countrywatch. You can select to receive messages from ‘the police’ and tick ‘Country Watch’ as an area of interest.
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