Rural crime

North Yorkshire Police will relentlessly pursue criminals who prey on our rural communities. But you can play your role in fighting rural crime too.

North Yorkshire is the largest policing area in England - and much of that area is rural.  We recognise that the impact of incidents or crimes can be higher in rural communities, and that people may feel particularly vulnerable because of their isolated location.

Rural communities face many of the same challenges as urban communities, but there are also some particular issues that are specific to rural localities.  For example:  farm and agricultural crime, crimes against small rural businesses, wildlife and heritage crime, road safety on rural roads, tourism crime and serious and organised crime caused by travelling criminals coming into the county from beyond our borders.

Policing rural areas is "core business" for North Yorkshire Police, and we have developed a Rural Policing Strategy to make sure that we stay focused on protecting rural communities, homes and livelihoods.  You can download and read the strategy from this page.  As part of that strategy, we are establishing a Rural Policing Task Force to work alongside our neighbourhood teams, and provide dedicated specialist expertise in policing rural areas.

We will do everything we can to keep rural areas safe, but you also have a role to play.  If you live in a rural area, please be vigilant, review the security of your buildings and property regularly and report any suspicious behaviour to the police as soon as possible on 101 (or 999 in an emergency) so we can take positive action.  You can also take some common-sense steps to protect your property, land and belongings.  You'll find our stay-safe tips in the Rural Crime Prevention brochure, which can be downloaded at the side of this page.


Pages in this section

  • Operation Hawk

    Operation Hawk is our ongoing campaign to clamp down on rural and cross-border crime, supported by our Road Crime Team.

  • Wildlife crime

    The policing of wildlife crime is a specialist subject. North Yorkshire Police has appointed Wildlife Crime Officers (WCOs) who, along with their normal duties, volunteer to investigate wildlife offences.

  • Rural crime leaflet

    Use the tips in our rural crime leaflet to help keep yourself, your family and your property safe.

  • Caravan security

    There are several simple measures you can take to deter caravan thieves and increase your chances of being reunited with your vehicle should it be stolen.

  • Church security

    The welcoming nature of churches makes them vulnerable to thieves who can take advantage of them being open and unattended.

  • Farm security

    A farm is spread over many acres with stock and equipment often portable and easy to steal. Total security is impossible - but much can be done to reduce the risks.

  • Heating oil theft

    With the increasing price of fuel, your heating oil may be an attractive target to a thief. Follow some simple steps to secure your heating oil.

  • Horse and pony security

    Every year horses, ponies and equine equipment worth hundreds of thousands of pounds are stolen across the country.

  • Metal theft

    The metals most commonly stolen are copper, aluminium, brass, and bronze - with copper being a particular problem in rural areas of North Yorkshire.

  • Outbuilding security

    Many rural areas suffer more burglaries from outbuildings than from actual homes, and recorded crime figures show that thieves are far more likely to break into sheds and garages than houses.

  • Second home security

    There are many second homes in North Yorkshire, particularly in our region's beauty spots such as the coast, the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales.

  • 10 principles of crime prevention

    When considering crime reduction strategies, crime reduction officers use the "ten principles of crime prevention" in order to achieve a good standard of security advice.

  • Rural Policing Taskforce

    Our Rural Policing Taskforce works alongside colleagues, partners and volunteers to increase engagement with rural communities, target criminals who offend in our rural areas, and provide bespoke crime prevention advice to those at risk of criminality.