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CLA welcomes Labour pledge to establish Rural Crime Strategy

THE CLA (Country Land and Business Association) has welcomed a pledge from Labour to establish a Rural Crime Strategy, and called for it to be properly resourced.

Sir Keir Starmer has today outlined how his party would tackle rural crime, citing new research commissioned by Labour from the House of Commons Library that reveals the crime rate in rural areas has surged by 32% since 2011; compared to 24% for urban areas; with a total rise of almost 130,000 reported offences.

Country Land and Business Association (CLA) President Victoria Vyvyan said:- "Criminals are often emboldened by the isolation of rural communities. As a result, rural crime is anything but petty, and it often comes with the explicit threat of violence from thugs linked to organised criminal gangs. Expensive machinery is being stolen and moved abroad, hare coursing is being live streamed for illegal international betting markets, even crimes many thought of as being a thing of the past; such as sheep rustling; are increasingly common. We warmly welcome Labour's announcement of a Rural Crime Strategy, something that is needed to protect people, communities and businesses. The 1st place to start must surely be ending the chronic underfunding of rural Police forces."

Launching the 1st Government backed Rural Crime Strategy, Labour are pledging to ensuring cross Government coordination between the Home Office, Defra and other departments.

Increasing Police patrols in rural areas, as part of plans for 13,000 more neighbourhood Police and PCSOs.

Tougher measures to clamp down on antisocial behaviour, agricultural crime and drug dealing, with stronger laws to prevent GPS farm equipment theft, new powers to tackle livestock worrying, and requiring fly tippers to clean up their own mess.

What do you think political parties and Police Forces can do to tackle rural crime? Have you been a victim recently? Please share your views and experiences with the CLA by emailing:- Mike.Sims@CLA.Org.UK

Aldi donates 33,200 meals to good causes in Merseyside during the School Holidays

BRITAIN'S 4th largest supermarket pairs its UK stores with local charities, community groups, and food banks to collect unsold fresh and chilled food year-round.

Around 833,600 meals were donated throughout the UK during the recent School Holidays, with more than 110 causes in Merseyside benefitting from the initiative in total.

The food donations are part of Aldi's successful partnership with Neighbourly, a community giving platform that links businesses to charitable organisations.

Liz Fox, National Sustainability Director at Aldi UK, said:- "We know that the School Holidays can be a particularly challenging time for families, and food banks regularly see heightened demand. By working with such amazing charities in Merseyside through our partnership Neighbourly, we are able to give back by providing donations to those who need it most."

Steve Butterworth, CEO of Neighbourly, said:- "The ongoing cost of living crisis has increased the demand on food banks, particularly during the School Holidays. Aldi's contributions serve as a lifeline for many, providing essential support to enable these causes to continue their vital work within local communities."

Since the partnership began in 2019, Aldi has donated more than 44 million meals to good causes across the UK.

Aldi also recently partnered with Neighbourly to launch a new:- "Spring" fund to provide additional help for families in need across the UK.

Eligible charities across the Neighbourly network, such as baby banks and Children's Centres, will be able to access microgrants of £500 to help them provide immediate support to struggling families.

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