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Increasing fear of rural crime

Increasing fear of rural crime

Published at 6:31am 15th September 2015. (Updated at 11:38am 15th September 2015)

There are calls for fairer funding to tackle rural crime in North Yorkshire.

It comes as a survey reveals that people in the countryside are increasingly worried about becoming victims.

Findings from the National Rural Crime Network (NRCN) also suggest that the true cost of crime in rural areas could exceed £800 million.

Hard-pressed young families and farmers are thought to be the most frequent victims, with the average crime costing a household over £2,500 and a business over £4,000.

It's claimed there's "chronic under-reporting, anger, frustration and worry", and just 39% of people in rural areas rate the police as good or excellent.

Julia Mulligan, Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire and Chair of the NRCN, said: "Our report comes at a critical time when the structure and funding for policing are being fundamentally reassessed. Some of the findings in this report make uncomfortable reading, but it is vitally important for the reality of rural crime to be fully acknowledged and acted upon.

"Its actual scale is clearly much greater than we had previously known; £800 million is a big number. The low satisfaction rates also need to be a wake-up call for police forces in rural areas and everything should be done to harness the opportunities presented.

"Good, accessible local policing is central to this and I believe police forces which significantly shrink their local teams in rural areas do so at their peril."

The NRCN's other recommendations include encouraging people in rural areas to report all incidents, policing which is better targeted and more effective partnerships between the police, rural communities and other authorities.