The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has said prosecutions of rural crime and the sentences given do not act as a “suitable deterrent”.
In a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Rural Crime, the NFU told solicitor general, Robert Buckland, that there is a need for an “effective justice system” that reflects the “true costs of rural crime” to farmers.
At the meeting there were continued calls for police to seize dogs from hare coursers and have the ability to reclaim kenneling costs.
Sam Durham, NFU land management adviser, said: “Rural crime has devastating impacts for farmers and food producing businesses, and it is only right that the punishments handed down to these criminals are severe enough to act as a deterrent. This was an excellent opportunity to meet with the solicitor general to raise these points and how rural crime affects farmers and rural communities.”
Guy Smith, NFU deputy president, added: “The growing issue of rural crime is one of the most frequent conversations I have with our members and the NFU has made this area one of its key priorities. It may well be that these criminals have more in common with serious, organised crime than petty theft. It is clear that there must be a co-ordinated approach between police and government to properly tackle this blight on the countryside.”