Rural communities in Staffordshire are being urged to step up crime prevention measures following the release of a report released this week.

Its findings include:
· The impact of rural crime cost Staffordshire £54m last year¹
· Road collisions in rural areas are twice as likely to result in serious or fatal injuries
· Rural businesses are likely to suffer more serious crime than those in urban areas
· Fly-tipping in Staffs and Stoke-on-Trent has increased by more than half since 2012
The wide-ranging report includes case studies on crimes which have affected rural communities, including the theft of plant machinery worth more than £250,000 from a site in Keele in May 2018, some of which was later recovered in Yorkshire.

Deputy Staffordshire Commissioner Sue Arnold said: “Staffordshire is generally a safe place to live and work but this study outlines the full extent of the impact crime has in our rural areas, which make up over three-quarters of the county. One in five people in our county lives in a rural setting and it is vital police and communities work together in order to prevent and reduce criminal activity.’

Staffordshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Jenny Sims said: m“We recognise the huge impact rural and wildlife crime has upon communities in Staffordshire and there are many great examples of positive work to tackle this. These include operations with neighbouring forces and partners to gather intelligence and deter wrongdoing as well as engagement with rural communities to help prevent and detect crime, thereby keeping people safe and reassured. The Staffordshire Police Rural and Wildlife Crime Unit is well-established and continues to develop its capabilities and relationships with partners. This assessment of rural crime will provide further insights to inform the force’s approach to tackling existing and emerging threats across the county.”