The Rural Crime Team was formed in 2020, following the precept increase acquired by Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Katy Bourne. The Rural Crime Team aims to serve the rural community, increase confidence and encourage reporting through preventing crime and carrying out proactive investigations.

With 62% of Sussex’s area dedicated to farming and a significant proportion being in the South Downs National Park, Sussex is defined as ‘significantly rural’ by DEFRA (2011).

The team specialises in agricultural, environmental, heritage and wildlife crime and dog theft, and takes a targeted approach to tackling rural crime based on the needs of each of the three policing divisions of Brighton and Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex. 

Made up of two sergeants, eight constables and six Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), the team operates out of bases at Midhurst (West Sussex) and Heathfield (East Sussex) to serve the county.

Working with partners

The team works closely with the rural community and partners across Sussex including The National Farmers Union, Crimestoppers, and local councils to prevent rural crime and target those who create the most harm.

More information on rural crime

Supporting rural communities

Sussex Police attends a number of local agricultural shows throughout Sussex each year, including the South of England Show.

Come and talk to one of our Rural Crime officers about how we can help you to protect your land and the wider community. 

DISC

Sussex Police also uses DISC – an online reporting system for rural communities to share intelligence and suspicious behaviour. Similar to neighbourhood watch, the software allows businesses to share information on potential criminality in their area with police and other users.

More than 850 rural businesses have signed up in Sussex and we are piloting DISC for businesses to report crime and intelligence in one rural district.

Rural Crime Team Monthly Update

The Rural Crime Team Monthly Update provides information on the activity we are carrying out across rural communities across Sussex. This includes:

  • A seasonal overview.
  • Our policing activity.
  • Crime awareness.
  • Working with our partners.

The update is published at the beginning of each month.

View the latest update.

Engage with us

Find out what the Rural Crime Team are working on to support your rural community.

Follow the Rural Crime Team on Twitter @SussexRuralCops

Report

You can report rural crime online.

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:

  • large scale industrial fly-tipping.
  • hare coursing.
  • machinery theft.
  • livestock theft.