What is Rural Crime?
Rural crime is an issue for large areas of the countryside but often goes unreported.
It can impact on insurance premiums, food prices and damage local communities.
There are 4 main types of rural crime
Environmental crime is often considered to be a rural crime. It covers the dumping of illegal waste, fly tipping, polluting watercourses and land.
Wildlife crime is primarily associated with the countryside. Offences include:
- Persecution of badgers, birds and bats;
- The theft and collection of eggs;
- Collection/trade in protected species and animal products;
- Not registering animals, which require a licence;
- Taking protected plants;
- Use of poisons, snares or explosives to kill or injure animals;
- Animal cruelty;
- Hunting with dogs;
- Introducing invasive species into the UK countryside;
- Killing or capturing any protected animal – or damaging or destroying its habitat.
What can you do?
If you think an offence has been or is about to be committed – and no-one is in imminent danger, report it to Cleveland Police online.
The police have published a number of crime prevention tips to help protect your property, land and livestock. They are available on Cleveland Police website.
Most waste or environmental issues need to be reported to your local council or other agencies.
Large scale dumping or dumping of hazardous waste needs to be reported to the police.
Further Information on Environmental Crime is available on Cleveland Police website.
If you think a wildlife crime – including livestock worrying and theft – has been or is being committed, report it online to Cleveland Police.
If your vehicle has hit a dog, horse, cow, pig, goat, sheep or donkey, it must be reported to the police.
If you hit a wild animal accidentally and you can’t take it to a vet or safe place straight away, you need to contact the police on 101.
If animals are loose on the road and there’s a danger to traffic, you need to call 999.
The police work closely with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) to investigate animal cruelty.
Find out more about wildlife crime by going to the Cleveland Police website.
What has the PCC done to help?
- Carried out a Rural Crime Survey to find out about countryside concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic about crime, anti-social behaviour and policing.
- Launched the Rural Policing Strategy 2018-21.
- Chair the Tees Valley Rural Crime Forum.
- Provided funding for a Rural Crime Rural Crime Prevention Officer to engage with, advise and support communities
- Funded Cleveland’s first drone unit in January 2020. Drones have frequently been deployed in more remote locations such as Eston Hills to gain intelligence on potential incidents
- Provided funding towards Tees River Rescue to ensure it could provide pro-active and responsive patrols of the Tees.
What will the PCC continue to do?
- Support multi-agency, multi-department actions such as Operation Phoenix, which targeted issues raised at the Tees Rural Crime Forum and through the work of Rural Crime Prevention Officer Paul Payne.
- Work in close partnership with agencies across all 3 sectors including Friends of Eston Hills and Guisborough Woods, Cleveland Police, Cleveland Fire Brigade and local businesses
- Continue to chair Tees Valley Rural Crime Forum to make sure our priorities match those of the communities, who we serve