NEIL Hamilton, AM for Mid & West Wales and Leader of UKIP Wales, is urging his constituents not to miss out on sharing their views on crime in rural areas.
Mr Hamilton, Party Spokesman for Agriculture and Rural Affairs, is calling on people to take part in the 2018 National Rural Crime survey.
The previous report, three years ago, when 13,000 people responded, revealed the huge cost of rural crime at around £800 million a year.
Mr Hamilton said: “This is a staggering amount of money and it is quite right that recommendations from the National Rural Crime Network should be followed up.
“In many cases police did take steps to improve matters. In Dyfed Powys, for example, a Rural Strategy was launched to demonstrate police commitment to keeping remote communities safe.
“Dyfed-Powys Police recorded around 500 crimes committed on farms in 2016-17, including burglaries and theft of livestock, machinery etc and also criminal damage.
“However, farm related crime is clearly under reported. In the survey three years ago, one in four said they did not report the last crime of which they’d been a victim because they didn’t see the point. I very much hope that initiatives like the Rural Crime Strategy will help to improve that perception.
“I would urge any of my constituents, living in a rural community, to make sure they speak up and express their views about crime in their area and whether they are feeling safer.”
Questions in the survey, include things like whether you report crimes that you or your business suffer, to the impact crime and anti-social behaviour has on you and your area, and whether you believe enough is done to catch those who carry out the offences.
It is being carried out by the National Rural Crime Network, the organisation which brings together Police and Crime Commissioners, police forces and organisations which play a key role in rural communities, like the Country Land and Business Association, the National Farmers Union, Neighbourhood Watch, Crimestoppers, Historic England and the Countryside Alliance.
To take part in the survey, which runs until Sunday June 10, go to the website www.nationalruralcrimenetwork.net.