Big rise in crime in the North East countryside

Rural crime in Northumberland and County Durham cost £840,000 pounds last year -a rise of 12%on the previous year.

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Rural crime: "Devastating for families"

Rural crime effects victims emotionally as well as financially Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

"The cost of claims is increasing as a result of more high-value items being stolen. That's why it's important to stay vigilant and fight rural crime. Our experience with people who live and work in rural areas of the North East clearly shows that theft is more than just a setback - it can be devastating for businesses and families.

"One of the rural community's best assets is its people who can work together to safeguard the local neighbourhood. "

– Cath Reed, NFU Mutual Agent, Hexham

Top 10 targets for rural crime

Rural crime in Northumberland and County Durham rose by 12 per cent last year and cost the regional economy £840,000. Among the items stolen were quad bikes, metal and horse equipment.

The figures are from NFU Mutual's annual Rural Crime Survey. Nationally the cost of rural crime totalled an estimated £44.5 million in 2013, a rise of 5.2% on the previous year.

Despite the increase in crime the theft of tractors fell by 32% nationally Credit: PA

These are the top 10 items targeted by thieves last year.

  • Tools
  • Quad bikes
  • Oil/Diesel
  • Machinery
  • Garden equipment
  • Livestock
  • Vehicles
  • Metal
  • Tractors
  • Trailers
Quad bikes are the second most targeted item by thieves Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The NFU says many farmers are repeatedly targeted. Although high-value thefts may be highly planned the number of garden tools and ornaments being stolen indicates opportunist thieves continue to target gardens and outbuildings.

Nationally there was a slight rise in livestock theft Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

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