29 September 1995

80% are hit by

by crime-wave

EIGHT out of 10 farmers have been victims of rural crime in the past three years, an NFU survey has revealed.

Fly tippers and farm equipment thieves were responsible for nearly 50% of all incidents. Vandalism, house burglary, vehicle theft and arson also featured on the list of top rural crimes.

NFU leader Sir David Naish said the union had heard of small family farms which had been virtually forced out of business by vandalism and arson. It had also been told of some incidents where joy-riders had killed livestock and destroyed growing crops.

Most of the 1200 farmers who responded to the survey said government was not doing enough to prevent crime. They wanted more policeman on the beat, greater development of farm watch schemes and tougher sentences.

Sir David said it was the unions duty to make sure these messages got through to government, local authorities and the police. He said the NFU would hold a national conference on rural crime in London on Dec 13. See p76.