Blog post by Kreseda Smith, doctoral researcher.
North Yorkshire Police hosted a workshop in York on 17th May to discuss the forming of a National Strategy to address Rural and Wildlife Crime in England and Wales. Members of a number of police forces attended, along with representative from a variety of rural stakeholders including the NFU, NFU Mutual, BASC, and the Tenants Farmers Association, plus a number of farmers.
Key aspects surrounding rural crime issues were discussed as being necessary for the national policing lead for wildlife and rural affairs to address as part of the process, including the need to possibly agreeing a definition of rural crime, the acceptance of the role of organised crime gangs in rural crime, and the need for improved communication between the police and rural communities to enhance confidence levels.
I attended in my capacity as a doctoral researcher addressing farm crime, to provide key academic input to the discussion and the need for empirical evidence to support strategic decisions. I am looking forward to seeing what happens next.