Disclosure Details

Rural Crime - 636/14

Dated: 11 Sep 2014

Date of request:    07/08/14

Date of response:  03/09/14

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')(FOIA)

Thank you for your email dated 7 August 2014 in which you made a request for access to certain information which may be held by Northumbria Police.

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked: 

1) What definition does your force use to categorise a crime as a "rural crime"?
2) What specific training have any of your officers received between January 2012 and January 2013 to help prevent and tackle rural crime?
3) What intelligence sharing practices do you operate between force areas to help investigate rural crime?
4) Please give data on the number of reports, arrests, prosecutions, and convictions your force received and secured concerning the poaching of deer, gamebirds and other animals between 1 January 2012 and 1 January 2013 and 1 January 2013 and 1 January 2014.
5) Please give data on the number of reports, arrests, prosecutions, and convictions your force received and secured concerning hare coursing between 1 January 2012 and 1 January 2013 and 1 January 2013 and 1 January 2014.
6) What measures has your force implemented to help tackle rural crime since January 2013?


In response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the HR, the Strategy and Performance Department and Northumberland Area Command of Northumbria Police. I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.

I am able to disclose the located information to you as follows.

1. No information held.  There is no nationally agreed definition so we the location of a crime would be used as the primary driver.  Thereafter it is based largely on acquisitive crime i.e. theft, burglary, burglary other than dwelling, taking without owners consent, theft from motor vehicles.
The vast majority of rural crime occurs within  one area command within the force, i.e.  Northumberland Area Command, which has large rural areas within its boundaries. The category of rural crime is a determination based on experience and knowledge, just as there is no definition for urban crime.

2. Training on Rural Crime and the Poaching Prevention Act took place in June 2012 across Northumberland Area Command. The training element of the initiative included issuing officers and relevant staff with an aide memoire covering key elements around powers to stop, search, seize, summon anyone they suspect of illegally poaching wildlife and highlighting key aspects of the legislation.

3. There is a regional intelligence sharing group with forces in the north which meets quarterly. Officers have contact with each other across borders, Durham, Cumbria, and ourselves.  This is replicated by local intelligence officers who share cross border information as well as submitting intelligence through relevant systems via their respective central force depts.

There is also a northern working group of Northumbria Police, Durham, Cumbria, Scotland, North Yorks, Cleveland and British Transport Police who run combined operations and share intelligence.

There is also liaison between CID across forces re active cross border target criminals, arrests and ongoing crime enquiries, stolen property disposal and sales.


                      2012   2013
Arrests                 4   0
Prosecutions/        0   0


                       2012   2013
Arrests                  0   0
Prosecutions/         0   0

6.  It is daily business for all officers in the rural sectors, Neighbourhood Policing Teams, 24/7 and Community Support Officers.
Local operations are sector based as it's the local officers who know their areas and the local contacts, road networks and crime patterns.  Area Command operations, tasking local partners i.e VOSA, DVLA, Farmwatch, forestry workers and other partners are also undertaken.

Wildlife officers also use their contacts out in rural areas.

More detailed information regarding such operations is published on the Northumbria Police website, and can be found by doing simple research.
I have provided the link to the website below

Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another.  Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data.  For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.

The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.

How to complain

If you are unhappy with our decision or do not consider that we have handled your request properly and we are unable to resolve this issue informally, you are entitled to make a formal complaint to us under our complaints procedure which can be found at: http://www.northumbria.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/foicomprights.asp

If you are still unhappy after we have investigated your complaint and reported to you the outcome, you may complain directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office and request that they investigate to ascertain whether we have dealt with your request in accordance with the Act.


FOI Complaint Rights Procedure_tcm4-67103