A rural crime report by NFU Mutual estimated that rural crime cost the UK £44.5m last year (2017), an increase of 13.4% on the previous year.
The annual ‘Rural Crime Report’ is based on data gathered from NFU’s 300 agent offices located in towns and villages across the UK and insights into the financial costs of rural crime.
According to the report, rural crime is rising at its fastest rate since 2010. Across the UK, rural crime saw the biggest increase in Wales, up 41% on the previous year, followed by the Midlands which was up 32%, while the South East has seen a rise of 30%.
The cost of rural theft in Scotland has fallen 3.8%, while the North East is the only English region showing a fall, down 6.5%.
The report also found that agricultural vehicle theft cost farmers £5.9m in 2017, Land Rover theft £1.9m, quad/ATV theft £2.3m and livestock theft £2.4m.
To protect their crops and keep criminals off their land, an increasing number of farmers are bolstering moderns security measures with “medieval” methods. Earth banks and ditches single entry points, reinforced gates, barricaded strong rooms, High yard fences and guard animals are all being used to in order to protect farmers property.
Tim Price, rural affairs specialist at NFU Mutual said: “Faced with repeated and determined attacks from a new breed of brazen thieves, farmers and country people are turning to history books to repurpose security measures from medieval times.
“Adapting centuries-old security with high tech solutions is already proving successful in keeping at bay thieves who don’t fear being caught on camera and have the skills to overcome electronic security systems.”