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Rural crime is down in the Thames Valley say NFU Mutual

According to statistics supplied by agricultural insurer, NFU Mutual, Thames Valley Police is one of the few forces in the UK to have seen a decrease in rural crime over the last year.

 The figures, which relate to the NFU Mutual 2013 rural crime survey show that Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire had a combined decrease of 19 per cent compared to a 5.2 per cent increase in rural crime nationally.

Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld said: “I made rural crime one of my key priorities and in doing so highlighted the great social and economic impact it has on isolated and vulnerable rural communities.

“I am delighted that the NFU figures show that there has been a large reduction in rural crime in the Thames Valley and I will continue to prioritise rural crime to help reduce the figures even further.

“In financial, commercial loss and intimidation terms rural crime is a serious crime but it is now being dealt with seriously and real progress is being made.”

Chief Superintendent Gilbert Houalla said: “Last year Thames Valley Police made concentrated efforts to speed up our progress in tacking rural crime by conducting intensive operations (100 days of action) to tackle criminals who target the rural economy, improve the security in the rural areas and gain the trust and confidence of the farming communities.

“Our officers learnt more about how the farming community work and now understand the impact rural crime has on business and livelihoods. We have been able to pick up new skills that can be used to protect rural and farming communities and catch the criminals who target them.

“We do recognise that rural crime is a growing national problem, and we will continue to tackle rural crime and drive those figures down further. The policing activities we implemented throughout last year are now business as usual for the whole Force."