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Rural crime costing the Midlands '£6.6m'

Rural crime cost the Midlands £6.6m in 2015 Credit: Geoff Abbott / Demotix / Demotix/Press Association Images

In 2015, rural crime cost the Midlands £6.6m, which was up from £6m in 2014.

The figures form part of the NFU Mutual's annual Rural Crime Report, published today, revealing that the cost of rural crime to the UK economy has now reached £42.5 million a year.

According to the leading rural insurer, the items most commonly targeted by thieves across the Midlands over the last 12 months were machinery, tools from farms and businesses and quad bikes (ATVs).

Lincolnshire has the highest rate of rural crime in the country. Credit: PA

The cost of livestock thefts in the Midlands is reduced by 63% following targeted awareness campaigns.

However, the region saw a 15% rise in the cost of tractor thefts with equine thefts also remaining a concern.

Lincolnshire has the highest rate of rural crime in the country.

It cost the the county £2,164,124 in 2015, almost £300,000 more than any other counties across the UK.

The West Midlands conurbation (Birmingham, the Black Country and Coventry) was the eighth highest county in the country to be affected by rural crime, costing £1,195,009.

Hannah Bromley, NFU Mutual Agent in the Midlands said:

Rural thieves are becoming increasingly sophisticated and using computers rather than bolt cutters to steal from farms and country properties.

Farmers and police have been working hard to adopt high-tech security measures to tackle the problems which now include: cloning tractor identities, advertising non-existent machinery in agricultural publications and stealing the GPS computer systems which are a key part of modern farming.

It is disappointing to see that levels of rural crime rose last year, but to make matters worse, we have seen a spate of break-ins over the past couple of weeks with large amounts of valuable tools and machinery being stolen.

– Hannah Bromley