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Speak up about crime in the Essex countryside

Independent charity Crimestoppers is asking people in the region to speak up about crime in the countryside.

Crimestoppers Logo

A new campaign against rural crime has been launched across Essex, where nearly one third of all reported crime is classed as rural - with violence the most common category.

Crimestoppers believes everyone has the right to feel safe from crime, wherever they live. The charity gives people the power to speak up, stay safe and stop crime 100 per cent anonymously, either by calling the professionally-staffed 24-hour UK Contact Centre on 0800 555 111 or by using the non-traceable Anonymous Online Form. There's no ID, no police contact, no witness statements, no courts.

In the county, information given to Crimestoppers led to more than 300 people arrested and charged between April and September last year (2017). And the numbers continue to increase.

With a focus on raising awareness of crime in the countryside, Chair of Crimestoppers in Essex, Stuart Rawlins, said: "Rural crime not only has a significant effect on the farming community and those who live and work in the countryside, it also impacts on those in towns and cities. Our aim is to keep the countryside safer for all of us by getting that message across using social media, leaflets and other tools.

"In countryside communities, people tend to know who's who and they may have information about crime which could be important. It could also mean they won't want to tell police because they fear reprisals. Crimestoppers charity can give them reassure thanks to our guarantee of anonymity."

The rural crime campaign will be in three stages. Social media has already been used to target hotspot areas and more will be rolled out during the next few months. Leaflets and posters will also be distributed to a number of partner organisations, many in smaller communities in the countryside, and village magazines will be asked to help promote the campaign.

Crimes against property, crimes of violence, domestic violence, child abuse, trafficking and hate crimes all take place in rural communities; while rural crime itself includes theft of high-value agricultural equipment, vehicles, heating oil, metal, diesel and pesticides.

Serious and organised crime groups are often linked to rural, heritage and wildlife crime, such as hare-coursing and cannabis cultivation.

More than 1,000 people contact the Crimestoppers charity every day which leads to around 14 people being arrested and charged each day. Calls and information passed to Crimestoppers are not recorded and cannot be traced. You will be 100 per cent anonymous. Always.

Crimestoppers is not an emergency service and in the event of an emergency, you should always ring 999.

14 March 2018