1. ITV Report

Cost of theft in rural areas has risen sharply in 2017

The cost of theft in rural areas has risen sharply in the first half of this year, a new report has suggested.

Credit: PA

A report by NFU Mutual also found that despite the cost of livestock theft falling for the rest of the UK from £2.9m in 2015 to £2.2m in 2016 - it rose by £100,000 in Wales.

Farmers are said to be resorting to increasingly high-tech methods of crime prevention, including infra-red surveillance and installing tracking devices.

While the fall in rural theft in 2016 is welcome news, the sharp rise in the first half of 2017 is deeply worrying. Countryside criminals are becoming more brazen and farmers are now having to continually increase security and adopt new ways of protecting their equipment. In some parts of the country, farmers are having to turn their farmyards into fortresses to protect themselves from repeated thieves who are targeting quads, tractors and power tools.

– Tim Price, NFU Mutual Rural Affairs Specialist