1. ITV Report

Wales sees biggest rise in the cost of rural crime across the UK

Credit: PA Images

Wales has seen the biggest rise in the cost of rural crime across the UK in the last 12 months.

The cost of rural crime here has risen by 41 per cent, amounting to £1.9 million in the last year.

A report by insurers NFU Mutual found that farmers are combining medieval security with high-tech solutions to protect their farms from criminals who are responsible for the highest level of rural crime for four years.

It also highlighted how farmers are putting up banks, dry ditches and fences to protect their farms against criminals who uses 4x4s to get onto farm land to commit crimes.

Farmers have in addition been using protective animals such as geese, llamas and dogs as a form of low-tech alarm system.

The report by NFU Mutual found that farmers are using tracking devices and immobilisers on vehicles, including CCTV, dash cams, motion sensors in their farmyards and even DNA markers to protect sheep from being stolen.

It also stated that limited police resources and repeat attacks are the biggest fears for people in rural communities, with many forced to change the way they live and work as a result of rural crime.

With police facing huge challenges - including budget cuts and extra workload - forces are finding it hard to resource rural policing and this may be one of the reasons for the rise in thefts we are seeing.

However social media is fast becoming the new eyes and ears of the countryside, strengthening the community ties that help in the reporting and recording of crime and bringing thieves to justice.

– Tim Price, Rural Affairs Specialist, NFU Mutual

Top ten most targeted items:

  • Tools;
  • ATVs / Quads;
  • Garden equipment;
  • 4x4s;
  • Machinery;
  • Livestock;
  • Trailers and horse boxes;
  • Oil / Diesel;
  • Bicycles;
  • Tractors.

More information and advice on how to beat rural crime in your area can be found here.