Rural Crime ‘On The Rise’
Rural crime across England climbed nine per cent in 2019, a new report from insurer NFU Mutual has revealed, reaching an eight-year peak and costing businesses approximately £46 million.
This increase was put down in part to organised gangs seeking out expensive vehicles such as quad bikes and tractors, while a spike in livestock theft was also seen over lockdown, including a 15 per cent hike in sheep rustling, the BBC reports.
The total cost of rural crime to the UK as a whole was £54.3 million, including £3.3 million in Northern Ireland, £2.6 million in Wales and £2.3 million in Scotland. In England, the three worst affected counties were revealed as being Lincolnshire, Essex and North Yorkshire.
The report noted: “Well-organised gangs taking large numbers of sheep, which are thought to enter the food chain illegally, are driving the increase. A spate of sheep being slaughtered and butchered in farmers’ fields also contributed to the rise.”
One farmer, Jonathan Rogers from Plymouth, discovered that 100 lambs had been stolen from his farm in Devon, with an estimated value of £10,000. He believes the gang involved must have been watching him in order to pull the theft off, as they had to have been aware of his habits and been in and out of the area quickly.
The NFU has a Rural Crime Hub that could prove useful in the prevention and reporting of this kind of illegal activity. Tips for preventing vehicle theft, for example, include using lockable garages and buildings, keeping keys locked away securely, investing in security devices, marking vehicles and so on.
Security guard services could also prove useful, so get in touch with us to see how we can help make your property more secure.