Campaign calls on public to help protect natural and historical heritage

​Crimestoppers, and Police Scotland, are encouraging the public to report rural crime anonymously.​Crimestoppers, and Police Scotland, are encouraging the public to report rural crime anonymously.
​Crimestoppers, and Police Scotland, are encouraging the public to report rural crime anonymously.
Crimestoppers has joined forces with Network Rail Scotland to launch a new campaign encouraging people to speak up about those causing harm and damage to Scotland’s countryside and heritage.

The initiative comes as the international tourist season starts.

With many people planning trips to the countryside, the potential impact of large numbers of visitors can be devastating to the environment.

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Over 95% of Scotland is classed as rural and NFU Mutual estimates that rural crime costs around £1.8 million annually, with levels reportedly increasing. While the volume of crime in rural areas is lower than in urban locations, the consequences and impact within a rural community or environment can be much deeper, both on victims and the community as a whole.

Crimestoppers is asking the public to spot the signs of rural crime and to give information 100% anonymously.

Angela Parker, National Manager for Crimestoppers Scotland, said: “Our campaign is encouraging the public to be aware of the harm rural crime and antisocial behaviour can inflict on the environment. From the economy to heritage crime, wilful fire-raising and theft, these crimes often go unreported and can ruin lives, livelihoods and our countryside.”

Allan Brooking, Community Safety Manager for Network Rail Scotland, added: “Scotland’s Railway plays a vital role in connecting people with communities and attractions across the country, so it’s hugely important to us to help our partners protect rural areas from crime. We will be sharing the campaign’s message with passengers and railway staff will also be equipped with information on what to look out for.”

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Inspector Jordan Low, from Police Scotland, said that protecting Scotland’s historic and naturual environment for future generations is “vital”.

He added: “Heritage Crime is one of the priorities of the Scottish Partnership against Rural Crime (SPARC) and encourage people to report any antisocial or illegal behaviour to the Police or Crimestoppers. Postcards and posters will be shared across Scotland, coupled with a social media campaign highlighting the key crimes affecting rural areas.”

Elizabeth McCrone, Director of Heritage at Historic Environment Scotland,, also said that heritage sites need to be protected.

She continued: “Scotland’s historic environment spans a rich collection of unique sites of national and international significance, including six UNESCO World Heritage sites, over 8000 scheduled monuments and 47,000 listed buildings.

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"It is vital that we ensure these precious historic assets are safeguarded. Heritage Crime robs us of our history. We are delighted to work in partnership with Network Rail and Crimestoppers to raise awareness and promote responsible access.”