Rural and cross border crime
North Yorkshire is a largely rural area, and tackling rural crime is one of North Yorkshire Police's main priorities.
People who live in isolated rural areas can feel particularly vulnerable, which makes it extremely important that we tackle rural crime, and the fear of crime, effectively.
The term “rural crime” can mean any type of crime that occurs in a rural area, but at North Yorkshire Police we recognise that certain offences are very specific to rural areas. For example:
- Crimes involving farm equipment and livestock
- Crimes against small rural businesses
- Wildlife crime, such as the taking or illegal trapping of animals or birds
- Theft and damage on heritage sites and buildings
- Tourism crime, including offences committed on holiday sites and damage to beauty spots
- Serious and organised crime: remote locations can be attractive for organised crime groups
- Road safety offences, which affect the quality of life for rural residents
In February 2016, North Yorkshire Police published a new rural policing strategy, and in April 2016, we launched our Rural Policing Taskforce – a team dedicated to tackling crime in rural locations.
North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce is believed to be the largest unit dedicated to tackling rural crime in England. It includes a central “hub” with an Inspector, Sergeant, intelligence and co-ordinating staff, plus a police Constable and Police Community Support Officer in each of our seven districts across North Yorkshire.
The Taskforce works closely with local groups and individuals to identify and solve issues of concern to rural communities. They gather and intelligence about those who target or commit offences in rural areas, take part in proactive operations to disrupt offenders, and provide a visible presence in rural villages and towns and villages. Our Taskforce is specially trained, and also provides bespoke advice on how to protect yourself, your farm or household, and your property and livestock.
You can find out more about the people in the Rural Taskforce by reading their newsletter.
Reporting rural crime
According to research commissioned by the National Rural Crime Network, the number of crimes in rural areas may well be under-reported. In North Yorkshire we want to encourage people to report crimes – but also to report unusual and suspicious behaviour that might need to be investigated. If you have seen something that gives you cause for concern, phone North Yorkshire Police on 101 so that we can check it out.
Community Messaging and Watch Schemes
You can help the police to tackle rural crime by taking an active part in crime prevention, and signing up for Community Messaging or one of our rural watch schemes.[pdf] [pdf] [pdf] [pdf]