Social media campaign tackles rural crime

Crimestoppers is launching a campaign to tackle rural crime
Crimestoppers is launching a campaign to tackle rural crime
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Crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers is launching a social media campaign to help fight crimes that affect rural communities.

Teaming up with the Northamptonshire volunteer committee, law enforcement agencies and rural partners, the campaign will urge the public to help protect our rural communities from the damaging effects of crime. Rural theft cost the UK an estimated £42.3m in 2012 and can have far-reaching consequences for communities in terms of the impact on the food chain, deliveries and supermarket prices.

The “Scene it. Herd it. Speak up about it. Anonymously” message will be spread via social media using Facebook, twitter and local alert systems. The public will be directed to a webpage which discusses aspects of rural crime such as poaching, hare-coursing, theft of oil, metal and machinery, and the charity will also be hosting a blog that can be found at www.blog.crimestoppers-uk.org.

Crimestoppers will also raise awareness of rural crime issues through its partners such as NFU Mutual, Sainsbury’s and Northern Powergrid in addition to important organisations with a rural interest such as the National Farmers’ Union, English Heritage, the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network, the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), and Northamptonshire Police.

Chairman of the Northamptonshire Crimestoppers’ Committee, Sylvia Hughes, said: “Northamptonshire Crimestoppers recognises how vitally important our rural communities are, we are trying to raise awareness around rural crime and are asking for the public’s help in keeping their communities safe, I would encourage anyone with information about crime and criminals to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Adam Simmonds, said: “As ever, Crimestoppers is a key advocate in the fight against crime. Rural crime can have a devastating effect on its victims so it is desperately important that communities help to tackle the problem by reporting suspicious behaviour and incidents. Rural communities matter and I think this is a marvellous campaign.”

A survey undertaken by NFU Mutual in 2012 found that an estimated 70 per cent of rural crimes are planned which means that someone, somewhere, knows who is behind these distressing crimes which can deprive farm businesses of valuable equipment and livestock, as well as damaging churches and historic buildings.

Director of Operations for Crimestoppers, Roger Critchell, said: “No-one has anything to fear by contacting Crimestoppers as you will remain anonymous – no personal information is taken. Calls are not traced or recorded and you will not have to go to court or give a statement to the police. In the 26 years that Crimestoppers has been running we have never broken our promise of anonymity.”

Anyone with information or suspicions concerning criminal activity in the rural community can ring the Crimestoppers national 24/7 telephone number on 0800 555 111 or contact the charity via its Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.