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  1. ITV Report

Farmer from Banbury says he's being targeted by gangs as rural crime reaches 7 year high

A farmer from Banbury says he's had 50 sheep stolen or killed in the last 18 months.

Graham Woodard says he's been targeted three times by gangs during that period.

  • WATCH: Graham Woodward describes his experience of losing sheep to crime.

It's rather soul destroying when you see all your hard work, the remains just of the lambs in the corner of the field."

– Graham Woodard, Farmer

It follows research by NFU Mutual showing that rural crime is at a 7 year high, causing anxiety within the farming community.

£3.4M
Cost of rural crime to insurers in Hampshire, Kent, East and West Sussex in 2017
£4.6M
Cost of rural crime to insurers in Hampshire, Kent, East and West Sussex in 2017
Both livestock and farm machinery are being targeted by criminals
£1.5M
Cost of rural crime to insurers in the Thames Valley in 2017
£2.2M
Cost of rural crime to insurers in the Thames Valley in 2018
  • WATCH: Tim Price from NFU Mutual on the changing nature of rural crime.

In the last two years we've seen big increases in the cost of rural crime as a new wave of brazen and organised criminals are attacking the countryside."

– Tim Price, NFU Mutual

Criminals are also targeting vehicles and machinery, which can be taken out of the UK and sold around the world.

Meat from stolen livestock is sold under the counter, illegally entering the food chain leaving the consumers at risk.