POLICE in County Durham are reducing rural crime by working with communities and partner organisations.

Rural insurer NFU Mutual's annual Rural Crime Report has revealed how the cost of rural theft in County Durham fell nearly 16 per cent to an estimated £365,000 in 2020 as Covid-19 restrictions, increased farm security and rural policing kept criminals out of the countryside.

Officers in Durham work with rural residents and partners to combat everything from highly-organised criminals who target items such as machinery to aiding councils with flytipping prosecutions.

Successful schemes such as Ruralwatch have hundreds of members working with officers across County Durham and Darlington to deter criminals and intercept those who try to commit crime in our rural areas.

Inspector Ed Turner said: “Durham has bucked the trend regionally and one of the main reasons for that is the continued support we get from our rural communities and through partnership working. It’s brilliant to see rural communities continuing to help us to help them to make sure they continue to be one of the safest places to live and work and I would like to thank them for that.”

Kate Sowden, NFU Mutual Agent in Durham, said: “There’s no doubt that when we work together with police, farmers, communities and other rural organisations to tackle rural crime it can make a real difference. That’s why we’re working closely with police and the farming community to share information, help protect property and raise awareness.

“We are urging the public, many of whom are using the countryside more, to support our farmers and rural communities by reporting suspicious sightings and crimes to the police.

“Our farmers have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic keeping the nation fed and caring for the countryside.

“By working together we can stem the tide when the criminals become more active again.”

For details email Elizabeth.finn@durham.police.uk


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