Rural crime handbook launch Image Bedfordshire Police

Advice on crimes affecting Bedfordshire’s rural communities

A Rural Crime Handbook which gives advice on a range of issues such as fly-tipping, hare coursing and sheep worrying has been launched in a bid to help tackle countryside crime.

Launched as part of Rural Crime Week of Action, it was put together by Bedfordshire Police’s crime reduction officer with contributions from a number of partners. Including the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), the Environment Agency, the Home Office and local farmers.

Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, said:

“This handbook marks an important step forward for Bedfordshire Police and the residents of rural communities alike and it’s particularly timely that it’s been launched in Rural Crime Week.

“We’ve worked with neighbouring forces and have focused on matters such as hare coursing together to prevent damage to crops and the illegal betting of tens of thousands of pounds on the outcomes.”

Rural businesses seen as a soft target

Rural businesses are often seen as a soft target by thieves. Many farms, equestrian premises and industrial estates are remote, spread over a large area of land, unoccupied overnight and contain plant and materials of high value.

Deputy chief constable, Trevor Rodenhurst, said:

“Rural crime can be complex and challenging to investigate. It isn’t just low level offences, as a range of serious and organised crime can take place in our rural areas, so it’s important we engage and work closely with our partners and communities.”

Oliver Rubinstein, from the NFU, said:

“Unfortunately many farmers have already had to take quite dramatic steps to limit their vulnerability, such as blocking off field entrances and digging ditches, however, this handbook is a valuable resource that we can share with members to help them make sure they’ve taken all the necessary steps.”

You can download a copy of the handbook here: