Rural crime on the rise - Farmers Weekly

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Rural crime on the rise

NFU Mutual has urged rural people to review security measures after insurance claims figures revealed a 14.7% increase in thefts from homes in the UK countryside in 2008. One of the biggest targets was theft from domestic heating oil tanks.

“We have seen sharp increases in rural crime in previous economic downturns and are concerned that these worrying figures could mark the first evidence of a new rural crime wave,” said NFU Mutual’s Tim Price.

He urged people to check their property didn’t present easy targets for opportunist thieves. “If opportunist thieves see gates, floodlights and possible CCTV cameras there’s a good chance they will keep going in search of easier pickings elsewhere.

Detailed advice on security for rural properties is available on NFU Mutual’s website www.nfumutual.co.uk

Rural crime on the rise

Rural crime continues to rise in England, but thefts are falling in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

NFU Mutual’s annual crime survey, released at the Royal Show, puts the estimated cost of rural crime in the UK in 2005 at £15.58m, slightly up on the 2004 figure of £15.48m.

But the cost of tractor and quad bike theft in England rose by a massive 23.4% and the thefts of tools and equipment increased by 13.2%.

By contrast, Scotland saw a 66.4% fall in the value of equipment theft and tractor theft in Wales was down by 49.9%.

David Leavesley, of the company’s risk management division, said: “It is particularly disappointing to see rural crime in England continuing to rise, especially as the trend in other parts of the UK is showing a welcome decrease.”

2005 CRIME TRENDS – % CHANGE ON 2004 LEVELS

Tractors Equipment
England +23.4% +13.2%
Northern Ireland -15.9% -38.6%
Scotland +1.7% -66.4%
Wales -49.9% -15.7%

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