What is Rural Crime?
Rural crime is an issue for large areas of the countryside in Cleveland but it often goes unreported.
It can impact on insurance premiums, food prices as well as damage local communities.
There are four main types of rural crime:
Environmental crime is often considered to be a rural crime and covers dumping illegal waste, fly tipping, polluting watercourses and land.
Wildlife crime is primarily associated with the countryside. Offences include the following:
- 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 committed – 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 but large scale dumping/dumping of hazardous waste must be reported to the police.
For further Information, please go to the 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.
You must tell the police if your vehicle has hit a dog, horse, cow, pig, goat, sheep or donkey. If you hit a wild animal accidentally and you can’t take it to a vet or safe place straight away, you should contact the police on 101.
If animals are loose on the road and there’s a danger to traffic, you should report it to the police.
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?
The PCC has done a number of things to help combat rural crime including the following:
- 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.
- Chaired 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. The unit has been deployed frequently in more remote locations such as Eston Hills. Drones have also been used 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?
The PCC continues to work to combat rural crime in a number of ways including the following:
- Support multi-agency, multi-department actions such as Operation Phoenix. The operation targeted issues raised at 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