Today Crimestoppers is launching the largest social media campaign in its 26 year history, specifically aimed at rural crime.
Crimestoppers are working extensively in partnership with a number of organisations such as the Neighbourhood Watch, local police forces, rural and corporate partners to form a strong campaigning platform to impact upon the damage of rural criminality and to identify the perpetrators responsible.
Rural crime represents a major challenge to our society. It costs the United Kingdom in the region of £42,000,000 a year and this makes it a very lucrative source of income for criminals. Although the volume of rural crimes versus that of urban areas may be fewer, the cost and impact of the crimes are often far greater.
Within rural crime there are multiple individual acts of criminality which range from acts of burglary, theft of metal, plant, livestock, robbery, through to wildlife cruelty. Worryingly there are even indicators that the theft of fertiliser from farms is being linked with the making of explosives, and as such, has a strong link with terrorism. The criminals range from the basic opportunist all the way through to national and even international organised criminal groups, who steal to order and then ship the stolen goods out of the United Kingdom.
The remoteness of these locations is often attractive to the criminal gangs as they see the rural community as an easy target and assume that they can carry on these acts of criminality with minimal risk of detection, arrest and prosecution.
Crimestoppers is uniquely positioned to challenge and champion the issue of rural crime. Their unique anonymous reporting system allows them to access those areas of the community who traditionally would not engage with the Police or other organisations.
Over the coming days Crimestoppers will publish contributions from those affected by, and tackling, rural crime. By reading about the experiences of others it is hoped that the public will support them in fighting back against rural crime.
Follow Crimestoppers on Twitter @CrimestoppersUK or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org