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Release: The cost of rural crime in Dorset decreases by 28%

A new report from NFU Mutual shows that the cost of rural crime in Dorset decreased by 28% in 2022. This is significantly different than the 22.1% increase reported nationally.

The decrease in Dorset is a reflection of the extensive work being done by both Dorset Police and the Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) to tackle rural crime head-on.

In Dorset, the police’s specialist Rural Crime Team has seen a significant increase in the resources available to them and have had improved visibility in communities with the implementation of their new rural engagement van. With these improvements, the team have seen huge successes having helped return over £1 million worth of stolen machinery to victims of crime over the last year. Dorset Police now has the ability to take the fight to organised rural crime.

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, David Sidwick said: “It has always been abundantly clear to me that Dorset is home to immensely proud rural communities, and I have always been a strong believer that more could be done to support Dorset’s rural residents.

I am pleased that we are starting to see the positive effect of the hard work that has gone into improving the service our rural residents receive from their police force. My thanks go to Dorset Police and all the partner agencies that help tackle rural crime in Dorset, for their hard work and commitment to both preventing future crimes and supporting victims.

I know that there is still more work to be done, which is why I will continue to chair the Dorset Partnership Against Rural Crime to bring together partner agencies working to tackle the many forms of rural crime. It is only by working together we can truly combat every aspect of rural crime and make Dorset a safer county for all.”

The Dorset PCC has worked to lobby the Government to change the law for tougher powers against illegal encampments, to make it harder for farm equipment to be stolen, and to secure higher penalties for fly-tipping, pet theft and hare coursing. He has also joined his counterparts from across the South West in supporting the creation of a new national unit to help tackle rural crime and recently helped to establish the Southwest Partnership Against Rural Crime (only the second such partnership in the country) to coordinate regional efforts.

In June the PCCs from the counties across the South West launched the first SW rural crime survey to explore how crime is affecting rural communities.

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