Rural crime on the rise, says annual NFU report

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STATISTICS show the cost of rural crime is on the rise.

Figures from NFU Mutual’s Rural Crime Report have illustrated the rising cost of rural crime in the south east and across the country.

While rural crime cost the south east £5.9m in 2016 – down eight per cent from £6.4m in 2015 – early theft claims statistics for the first half of this year show a sharp rise of 20 per cent nationally.

The items most commonly targeted by thieves across the south east over the past 12 months were ATV (all terrain vehicles) and quad bikes, tools and garden equipment.

Tim Price, NFU Mutual rural affairs specialist, said: ‘Although the figures for rural crime in the south east are down, countryside criminals continue to become more brazen and farmers are now having to continually increase security and adopt new ways of protecting their equipment.

‘Our advice to people living and working in the countryside is to regularly evaluate your current security measures.’