Organised crime may be having an increasing impact on rural communities across the UK. In its 2020 Rural Crime Report, NFU Mutual recorded a 9% increase in rural crime with some of the highest increases (14%) in the South West.
Now a new project led by the University of Plymouth is working to assess the precise effects of those rises on farmers, and their families, in Devon and Cornwall.
Working alongside colleagues at Devon and Cornwall Police and the University of Winchester, the project will help identify and map the impacts of organised crime in rural areas.
In the first study of its kind, farmers are being asked to complete an online Rural Crime Survey about their experiences of crime and whether it concerns them on a day-to-day basis.
It asks if they feel safe on their farms and whether they feel crime is a problem in their community, but also how those feelings have changed in recent years.
The survey also about the nature of crimes farmers are experiencing, and how that is different to incidents that have happened in the past.