RESIDENTS living in the Wiltshire countryside are being urged to have their say in a major new survey about rural crime.

The National Rural Crime Survey aims to determine the true personal, social and economic cost of rural crime and anti-social behaviour across the country.

The last survey took place in 2015, when 13,000 people responded to give their impressions of crime and anti-social behaviour.

The results revealed the cost of rural crime to the country was significant – around £800 million every year.

The survey also showed there was chronic under-reporting of rural crime, as well as anger and frustration at both police and government for failing to crackdown on the issue.

The National Rural Crime Network brings together Police and Crime Commissioners, police forces and organisations from 28 areas that play a key role in rural communities, including Wiltshire Police and Wiltshire Rural Crime unit.

Wiltshire Police said: “We are launching our second Rural Crime Survey to ensure rural communities can express what is important to them and feedback their thoughts on rural policing in Wiltshire. We would really appreciate you taking the time to complete the survey below; it shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes.

“The results of this survey will help us better understand the concerns and needs of our rural communities and how best we can respond and engage with them.

“This will influence how the police and partner agencies will conduct its work within Wiltshire, specifically dealing with crimes types that affect our rural communities.”

Network chairman Julia Mulligan said: "I hope that everyone living or working in a rural community will spare a few minutes to complete our survey.

“It will provide a clear picture of what has improved, what challenges remain and what more government, police forces and other organisations can do to support the most isolated areas of our country.”

Questions in the 2018 National Rural Crime Survey cover a range of issues – from whether people report crimes to the impact anti-social behaviour has on rural life.

The survey also asks whether respondents believe enough is done to catch offenders.

It should be of particular interest to rural residents and farmers across North and West Wiltshire, who are experiencing a wave of countryside crime, including arson, burglaries and criminal damage to vehicles and property.

The NFU is the only organisation representing the farming community on the NRCN executive board and is encouraging all Wiltshire NFU members to take part.

NFU Deputy President Guy Smith said: “The farming community often feels that rural crime is not well enough understood in the way it impacts on farm businesses.

“This leads to concerns that sometimes it is not treated seriously or effectively enough. I would encourage all farmers and growers to participate in this survey in order to demonstrate just how widespread the issue of rural crime has become.

“These statistics can go a long way to provide a clear picture to the police, government and other organisations of the true scale of this problem.

“The NFU is the leading organisation representing its members in the fight against rural crime and is working closely alongside organisations such as the National Rural Crime Network in these efforts.”

The survey is open for submissions until Sunday, June 10. It is available at