Murdo Fraser MSP expresses alarm at rural crime statistics

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser has said he is “alarmed” on hearing statistics which reveal that 32% of people who live or work in the countryside don’t think the police take rural crime seriously - and the same percentage say they have had a crime committed against them in the last 12 months.

The politician was responding to survey results, which were conducted by the Scottish Countryside Alliance on people who live or work in the Scottish countryside.

The survey results also showed that 84% of respondents think crime is “significant” in their community and also that 63% think crime has increased over the last 12 months.

Commenting, Mr Fraser, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, said: “The results of this survey are very alarming indeed. It is not a good situation that 32% of the survey respondents don’t think the police take rural crime seriously and how a large proportion of them believe crime has increased to significant levels.

“The results demonstrate what we have suspected for some time – that rural crime is on the increase and something must be done at Government level to address it. The top six rural crimes highlighted in this survey were fly-tipping, wildlife crime or hare poaching trespass, agricultural machinery theft, theft from outbuildings and criminal damage, vandalism or damage to property.”

Mr Fraser continued: “I fully agree with the views of the Scottish Countryside Alliance who have said that these findings indicate that there is a rural population simply putting up with the crime they experience and trying to get on with their lives as best they can.

“There is a large rural population across Mid Scotland and Fife and these survey results show we must do more to protect these businesses and communities. We need the SNP Government to encourage all residents who live in rural areas to contact the police if a crime takes place, and we also need to look at measures that can be introduced to stop rural crime taking place.”

The Scottish Countryside Alliance undertook the 2020 survey in October.

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