Key Findings and Recommendations

National Rural Crime Survey 2018


Here are the key findings of the survey and the recommendations made by the Rural Crime Network.

Further information about the survey, the Rural Crime Network and the full report can be found here.

Key Findings

  1. The perception of policing in rural communities is poor, and much worse than in urban areas.
  2. Some of the most common concerns are not solely policing matters, like fly-tipping and speeding – too many partners, like local authorities, are less able to respond to the needs of rural communities.
  3. Crime is not just an inconvenience – crime, and the fear of crime, is leading to emotional strain and a loss of confidence in rural communities, particularly among young people, families and farmers.
  4. Communities believe crime in rural areas is a big problem – and is getting worse.
  5. Many crimes in rural communities go unreported – especially by business owners, because they don't feel the offence will be taken seriously or anything will be done.
  6. Residents and businesses in rural communities believe they are being specifically targeted – and, on balance, most believe the crime is organised.
  7. Farmers and agricultural businesses are facing huge challenges – and they don't feel there is enough being done to support them.
  8. The financial impact of crime is substantial – for residents and, particularly, for businesses who are the lifeblood of the rural economy.
  9. Rural victims feel angry and annoyed that they are not taken seriously by those in positions of power – and the extent of crime is making communities feel vulnerable.
  10. Ultimately, rural communities are not understood and services do not match need – if nothing is done there is a risk of a wholesale loss of trust in rural policing.


  • We need Chief Constables to change the policing of rural communities.
  • We need to do more to understand rural crime and its impact.
  • We need to put that understanding into practice.
  • We need to put more focus on farmers and specific rural businesses.
  • We need to work together on organised crime.
  • We need the criminal justice system to understand rural communities.
  • We need justice to be done and be seen to be done for rural communities.
  • We need to make reporting crimes easier.
  • We need to do more to help rural residents and businesses with crime prevention.
  • We need to ensure victims of fly-tipping are not left to pay the price of others' actions.

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