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Rural Crime – Going Back in Time?

As a countryman, theft from your neighbour would be considered a mortal sin, and one that means you would never be welcome at the mart again. However, we are no longer in the 1850’s, and what we consider as our ‘neighbour’ stretches as far as the crow can fly. Rural crime is on the rise and they are coming from far and wide.

Practically on a daily basis now I receive reports of sheep rustling, poaching, vehicle theft, fuel theft and even high seats being stolen. Are we going back in time? Sheep rustling used to be a bedtime story, not the news headlines. Thomas Hood wrote poems about poaching in the 1830’s, we don’t expect it in the 21st Century. Is the increase in rural crime a sign of desperation from the general public, or is it a sign of complacency in the rural community? That is a question for the academics; meanwhile, we have to live with it.

Country dwellers have always been comfortable to leave their door unlocked, or the keys in the car over night, but not anymore. I have now become accustomed to padlocking the dogs in the kennel and closing ground floor windows at night for fear of theft. So what are we to do about it?

Vigilance and Communication is the key – Be vigilant in security, and communicate with your local Police and your neighbours. Always ensure that you report the crime and that you get a crime reference number. Without the statistics behind the crime, the local constabulary will not be able to really assess the real scale of the problem. This will help support the fight for greater Rural Policing, and in the meantime, we are just going to have to make it difficult for them to succeed.

On that note I will leave you with this quote:

“Enter, stranger, but take heed
Of what awaits the sin of greed,
For those who take, but do not earn,
Must pay most dearly in their turn.
So if you seek beneath our floors
A treasure that was never yours,
Thief, you have been warned, beware
Of finding more than treasure there.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

If you need advice on your own farm security and what you should do in the event of a theft, please feel free to contact our Rural Team to discuss further tel: 01748 829210.

Will Parker, GSC Grays.

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