Disclosure Details

Rural Crime - 730/14

Dated: 07 Oct 2014

Date of request:      09/09/14

Date of response:  07/10/14

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

Thank you for your email dated 9 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.    Does your police force have a definition of ‘Rural Crime’ that it works to? If yes what is that definition?

2.    Does your police force have a specific rural crime policy or strategy? If yes please provide me with a copy of that policy or strategy. If this is not possible please tell me why and indicate whether that policy or strategy makes specific mention of counterfeit plant protection products (pesticides).

In response:

We have now had the opportunity to fully consider your request and I provide a response for your attention.

 Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with 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. In April 2013 The Association of Chief Police Officer ratified the definition of rural crime as:

'Any Crime and ASB that takes place in a rural location or as identified by the victim'.

This, by definition is very wide, and is currently subject to review by Chief Constable Prince of Dyfed - Powys.  Because of the difficulties, of the definition most forces have adopted a bespoke approach to defining what constitutes rural crime.

In Northumbria, the location of the offence takes primacy, which leads to a definition encompassing acquisitive crime offences:  Burglary dwellings and Burglary Other Than Dwellings; Theft of agricultural machinery and stock; and Theft From Motor Vehicles.

The majority of rural crime occurs in Northumberland Area  Command where professional experience and local knowledge determines what is considered to be rural crime and the subsequent policing response in terms of investigation, victim contact, crime suppression and prevention.  From this local understanding developed with partners in rural areas comes specific tactical plans to address rural criminality.

2.There is no national rural crime strategy consequently, there is no Northumbria strategy or policy however this is being monitored through a regional rural crime forum involving neighbouring forces, ie Northumbria, Durham, Cleveland and North Yorkshire.

Rural crime occurs mainly in Northumberland Area Command, due to its location, and there are local plans developed by Neighbourhood Inspectors in partnership with rural communities and capable guardians to address specific rural crime problems.

Further information regarding operations to target rural crime and crime prevention advice etc can be found via the Northumbria Police website.
In order to assist I have provided the relevant link 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