A survey has found that more farmers and rural business owners in Dorset fear becoming victim of crime.

The results of the 2018 National Rural Crime survey have revealed that rural communities are 'in fear of crime', with 60 per cent saying they were fairly worried about becoming a victim of crime in the future.

The results highlighted that 69 per cent of farmers and rural-specific business owners were victim of a crime over the last 12 months, and 57 per cent said they had raised fly-tipping as a key issue in rural areas.

The survey which collected 20,000 responses, included 15 per cent from south west force areas.

The CLA, who represent thousands of farmers, landowners and rural businesses across the region, has called for tougher sentencing and more co-ordinated action between the Environment Agency, local authorities and the police.

John Mortimer, CLA south west director, said: "The results of the latest national crime survey confirms the hard realities experienced by victims of crimes in rural areas.

"It also highlights inadequate resourcing of our already stretched police forces and local authorities in dealing with reported crime in the countryside.

"We are especially pleased fly-tipping has been highlighted in this report, as around two-thirds of our members suffer regularly at the hands of fly-tippers.

"Local authorities, the police and the Environment Agency must work together with farmers and landowners to help reduce fly-tipping on private rural land.

"It's a vicious cycle of costly clean-ups by the victims who bear the burden of waste crime and the threat of prosecution.

"We regularly work with police forces across the south west region and encourage everyone in the countryside to report rural crimes and associated suspicious behaviour."