The theft of livestock is a crime and is covered under the Theft Act 1968. The thrust of the Government’s Crime Strategy makes local agencies accountable and responsive to the needs and priorities of the local community. Where livestock theft emerges as a pressing local issue there is a local framework in place for local police forces and community safety partnerships to allocate and devote appropriate resources to tackling this crime.
The Government also supports schemes such as Farm Watch and Countryside Watch, which are now operating across England and Wales, allowing farmers and those living in rural communities to share practical advice on crime prevention in order to look after their vehicles, property, families and animals.
A practical guide has also been produced by the National Policing Improvement Agency specifically for those facing the challenges of policing rural areas, titled Neighbourhood Policing in Rural Communities (2008). This offers advice on a range of issues specific to rural areas. The introduction of neighbourhood policing is transforming policing at a local level, so as to build a more responsive, locally accountable and citizen-focused police service to make communities safer and make them feel safer.