Crimestoppers is asking the public to give information anonymously about rural crime in Scotland.
From today (31st March), the independent charity’s ‘Scene it Herd it’ campaign aims to highlight the crimes rural communities face and encourage the public to be the ‘eyes and ears’ of the countryside.
94% of Scotland is classified as rural and the NFU Mutual Insurance Society estimate that rural crime costs Scotland around £1.8 million annually.
The main crimes rural businesses and communities face are:
- All types of Theft involving vehicles, machinery, equipment, metal, fuel and livestock.
- Break-ins to farms, homes and business premises
- Vandalism to property and crops
- Crimes against livestock and other protected animals, including livestock worrying by dogs
- Illegal waste sites and dumping
The campaign will see information leaflets posted to 60,000 rural household across Scotland, followed by a social media campaign.
During the summer, Crimestoppers will be promoting the campaign at Scotland’s events including the Royal Highland Show. Partners will be equipped with Scene it Herd It banners, postcards and pop-ups and digital resources.
Angela Parker, National Manager for Crimestoppers in Scotland said:
‘People have an image that living in the countryside is idyllic and crime free.
But householders and businesses can be a target, as many properties are isolated. In small places people usually know each other and may fear retribution or having to make a statement, be a witness or go to court. Crimestoppers’ guarantee of anonymity removes this fear and no-one will ever know you called.’
Chief Superintendent Gavin Robertson, Chair of the Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime (SPARC) said:
“SPARC has been working very closely with Crimestoppers and very much welcomes the launch of the Call to Action which raises awareness of rural crime issues and encourages people to provide information on a confidential basis. I would encourage people to come forward with information and not to assume that it is insignificant or known to us already.
“Information received from Crimestoppers will be combined with intelligence from other sources to build a more detailed picture of rural crime in Scotland, driving further focused prevention, investigation and enforcement activity by SPARC, Police Scotland, our partners and Scotland’s rural communities.”