Crimestoppers is launching an innovative social media campaign to help fight rural crime in Derbyshire.
Teaming up with the Derbyshire volunteer committee, law enforcement agencies and rural partners, the campaign will urge the public to help protect our precious 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 predominantly be spread via social media using Facebook, twitter and local alert systems, in order to reach deep into rural communities.
The public will be directed to a webpage which discusses aspects of rural crime such as poaching, hare-coursing and the theft of oil, metal and machinery, which highlights what we need to look out for.
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 by utilising the positive relationships it has with a number of 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 of course Derbyshire Police.
Ashok Kalia, Chair of the Derbyshire Crimestoppers Committee, said: “Rural Crime can have devastating consequences for the victims but it affects every one of us by driving up food prices. We are proud to be working with Derbyshire Police as well as the Police and Crime Commissioner to fight rural crime. We are appealing to the Derbyshire public to help catch these criminals by contacting Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org and telling us what you know.”
Alan Charles, Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said that tackling rural and wildlife crime was a key priority. “Wildlife and rural crime is a priority within our agreed local policing plan and we have already taken steps locally to tackle the problem. Derbyshire’s rural communities and those drawn to Derbyshire specifically because of the wildlife make a significant contribution to our local economy and I would like to see fewer victims of these types of crimes. That’s why I want to see greater awareness of rural crime which in turn will further encourage victims and witnesses to report incidents. I believe that, together with local communities, we can make a real difference.”
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, added: “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 should ring the Crimestoppers national 24/7 telephone number on 0800 555 111 or contact the charity via our Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.