National Rural Crime Network

About Us

Why Are We Here?

The National Rural Crime Network is working to see greater recognition and understanding of the problems and impact of crime in rural areas so more can be done to keep people safer.

Rural crime encompasses a wide range of offences, including theft, vandalism, illegal dumping, wildlife crime, and anti-social behaviour, among others. These crimes not only affect individuals and businesses directly targeted but also have broader implications for the entire rural community. The impacts can be felt economically, socially, and emotionally, creating a ripple effect that extends far beyond the immediate victims.

By collaborating with stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies, local authorities, community organisations, and by recognising the diverse nature of rural crime and its impact on various aspects of rural life, the NRCN advocates for holistic approaches that address the root causes of crime while also providing support and resources to affected communities.

What Is Rural Crime?

Rural crime encompasses a range of offenses that affect communities outside urban areas. From agricultural theft and livestock rustling to fly-tipping and vandalism, the challenges faced in rural regions differ significantly from those in urban centres. Factors such as vast landscapes, limited law enforcement resources, and isolated properties often contribute to the complexity of addressing these issues. We aim to shine a light on the issues, to improve understanding and enhance community safety.

What Do We Do?

Take a look at our Annual Report to see the key highlights from the previous year and read about our plans for 2024.

“Rural crime remains high, costing the UK £42.5 million in 2015… The Northeast and East of England are the worst affected areas costing £7.9 and £6.9 million… Farmers and police have adopted high-tech security measures to tackle increasingly sophisticated thieves… Cyber-crime is becoming an increasing concern in their communities.” 

Source: NFU Mutual Rural Crime Survey, 2015

Meet Our Board Members

Our Board is appointed annually at the Annual General Meeting by the Network’s members. The Board has responsibility for developing the strategic direction of the Network and its subsequent work programme, which is agreed by the wider membership.

 Tim Passmore
Tim Passmore

Chair PCC Suffolk

Philip Seccombe
Philip Seccombe

Vice-Chair PCC Warwickshire

Ellie Vesey-Thompson
Ellie Vesey-Thompson

Board Member – Deputy PCC Surrey

Philip Wilkinson
Philip Wilkinson

Board Member – PCC Wilthisre & Swindon

 Nick Evans
Nick Evans

Board Member – Deputy PCC, Gloucestershire

Giles Orpen-Smellie
Giles Orpen-Smellie

Board Member – PCC Norfolk

Sarah Lee
Sarah Lee

Countryside Alliance – CA Director of Policy and Campaigns

David Crawley
David Crawley

Crimestoppers – CS Business Growth and Fundraising Director

Lucy Charman
Lucy Charman

Country Land & Business Association - CLA Rural Advisor

Sam Durham
Sam Durham

National Farmers’ Union – NFU Chief Land Management Advisor

Kerry Booth
Kerry Booth

Rural Services Network – RSN Chief Executive Officer

Rob Taylor QPM
Rob Taylor QPM

Wales Representative – Rural & Wildlife Police Crime Coordinator

Frequently Asked Questions

What constitutes a 'rural area'?

For the purpose of our research, we have used the 2011 Rural-Urban Classification of Local Authority Districts and other higher level geographies definition of rurality.

Police and Crime Commissioners representing rural communities across England and Wales felt that more needed to be done to highlight the needs of the communities they represent. In addition, when considering the evidence base of ‘what works’ in policing, there are clearly opportunities to consider in greater detail effective policing, crime prevention and community safety in rural areas. As a consequence, 28 Police and Crime Commissioners with significantly rural constituencies came together to establish the Network.

No, but you may find different policing areas have their own versions – please contact your local Police and Crime Commissioner. At the National Rural Crime Network, we feel a tightly-defined definition may be counter productive as it would run the risk of excluding some crime types. We are therefore concerned with all crime and anti-social behaviour occurring in rural areas.

No, the Network is deliberately non-political and comprises a range of organisations who either represent or have an interest in rural community safety in its broadest sense. Members include Police and Crime Commissioners from across the political spectrum, charities, commercial and non-for-profit organisations.

How is the Network funded and what is its’ budget?

In its first two years the Network was funded primarily by its members and the Home Office via the Police Innovation Fund. The finances and budget are administered by North Yorkshire Police.

The Network has published its Terms of Reference and is governed by a Board. Board meetings are quarterly, with the Annual General Meeting being held every year in May. Board meeting minutes are published and the finances are available for public scrutiny. In addition, the NRCN has published a Constitution, which was approved by the Home Office as part of the conditions attached to the grant funding received by the Network.

The National Rural Crime Network has no direct employees of its own. However, it is supported by a secretariat based at the Rural Services Network (RSN). The RSN represents the interests of rural service providers and their rural communities including 150 Local Authorities and over 100 public and private sector service providers. In addition, individual members also provide ad hoc support as required.

For all general enquiries you can visit our Contact Page and we’ll aim to respond within 48 hours. If you require help sooner, take a look at our Twitter and Facebook pages.