Know How / Crime

News and advice on crime carried out on farms from sheep theft, to tractor, quad bike and other farm machinery theft, fly-tipping and hare coursing.  Get advice on farm security and rural crime prevention and hear from other farmers about how they keep their farm and property safe.

Latest crime news

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CRIME

One arrest in sheep butchery investigation after police raids

A 39-year-old man from Coventry has been arrested on suspicion of theft and criminal damage as part of an investigation into illegal sheep slaughter and butchery. Officers from Northamptonshire Police…

CRIME

Six sheep dead and eight injured in horrific dog attack

WARNING: Article contains graphic images Six sheep have died and eight more were injured following an horrific attack by a loose dogs in Somerset on Thursday (August 8). One sheep…

CRIME

Animal rights activists accused of killing 3,000 pheasants

A devastated Kent farmer has accused animal rights activists of killing thousands of pheasant chicks. Eloise McDonald, 23, said activists stormed her small family game farm in Ashford last month…

FLY-TIPPING

Woman handed hefty fine for fly-tipping near farmland

A woman who dumped domestic rubbish outside farmland has been ordered to pay more than £2,250 by magistrates. Ashford Borough Council said the case highlights its “zero-tolerance approach” towards fly-tipping…

CRIME

Cost of rural crime rises at fastest rate for seven years

The cost of rural theft has risen to £50m as organised criminals gangs target machinery and livestock, according to latest claims statistics from rural insurer, NFU Mutual. Farmers are deploying…

CRIME

Gate block lets tractors in but keeps fly-tippers out

A Northumberland farmer has designed a 1t concrete gate block that allows farm machinery easy access into fields but acts as a barricade for fly-tipping lorries, pickups and caravans. John…

CRIME

Farmers urged to be vigilant as sheep butchery attacks continue

Police have issued signs to farmers and landowners in Northamptonshire urging them to report suspicious activity following a series of horrific sheep butchery incidents. Since March, it is estimated that…

CRIME

Pensioner shot in armed raid on farm

Police have launched an investigation after a man was shot and firearms stolen during an armed robbery at a farm in Lancashire. Armed police rushed to the village of Aughton…

Practical advice

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SHEEP

What to do if you're a victim of... sheep worrying

Sheep producers suffered an average of seven attacks per flock in the 12-month survey period in 2017, according to the National Sheep Association’s annual survey. Ultimately, preventing sheep worrying should…

FLY-TIPPING

What to do if you’re a victim of… fly-tipping

Farmers and landowners are plagued by fly-tipping and there is widespread anger and frustration that existing laws do not go far enough in supporting victims. Fly-tipping incidents in England have…

BUSINESS

What to do if you're a victim of...fraud

Cybercriminals are increasingly turning their attention to small and medium-sized enterprises including farms, because they know people running these businesses often live and work in isolation and are probably an…

CRIME

Video: Quad bike theft – how to avoid being a victim

Every farmer would be lost without their quad bike to get around the farm and yet, they are still the farm vehicles stolen most often. In this video hear from…

CRIME

9 tips to combat farm theft during darker nights

As the nights draw in following the end of British Summer Time, farmers are advised to ramp up security to deter rural thieves. See also: Video – farmers’ top tips…

NEWS

Farm security advice to combat rural crime

Countryside criminals are becoming more brazen and farmers are having to go to extra lengths to ramp up security and protect their livelihoods. Some farmers are turning their farmyards into…

Case studies

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CRIME

Video: Farm bunds fend off rural criminals

It’s a simple but effective crime prevention measure that doesn’t cost farmers the earth. For centuries, earth bunds were used to protect areas and keep unwanted visitors off land near…

CRIME

Video: Farms turned into fortresses to battle rural crime

Farmers from Ambion Contractors Ltd, near Sutton Cheney in Leicestershire, in the shadows of the Bosworth battlefield, are engaged in their own battle – the constant fight against rural crime.…

CRIME

How technology is helping farmers curb sheep thefts

Sheep theft cost the UK £2.4m last year, according to latest figures from NFU Mutual, with livestock one of the biggest targets after machinery, tools and vehicle thefts. Now, a…

ARABLE

Video: Trench-digging farmer curbs poachers

A farmer has dug trenches around his fields in a novel way to ward off poachers and stop joyriders damaging his crops. Rob Gardner says digging trenches around fields bordering…

Farmer builds a 7ft high metal barricade to deter crime

A farmer has built a 7ft high, metal barricade around his farm to deter joyriders - and he hopes to finish the job using crowd control fencing from the London…

Insights

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CRIME

Exclusive survey: What farmers say about rural crime

Farmers are experiencing a wide variety of crimes and they believe the government is not providing rural police forces with adequate resource to protect their livelihoods, according to a new…

CRIME

On patrol with the police in the fight against rural crime

It’s a drizzly mid-September morning as I travel to Buckinghamshire ahead of “Operation Agriculture”. The operation is a week-long crackdown on rural crime affecting farms and the countryside in the Aylesbury…

NEWS

Shocking extent of modern slavery in agriculture revealed

The shocking extent of labour exploitation and modern-day slavery in agriculture has been laid bare in a new report by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA). Drawing on its…

CRIME

How cybercriminals target farmers and machinery buyers

Fraudsters are targeting UK farmers as unwitting middlemen in an international farm machinery scam which is costing victims thousands of pounds. The scam involves creating fake websites using business details…

LIVESTOCK

Special investigation: Police failing to curb sheep worrying

Dog attacks on sheep are unacceptably high across the UK – despite public awareness campaigns. Figures Farmers Weekly has obtained on sheep worrying attacks across the country from 2015-17 reveal…

NEWS

Fleeced: Police failure to tackle sheep rustling exposed

A Farmers Weekly investigation has exposed the chronic failure of police forces to tackle sheep rustling. A Freedom of Information (FoI) request for crime statistics held by all police forces…

NEWS

The NFU's manifesto on rural crime

Some 56% of farmers have been a victim of rural crime over the past year, according to a survey by rural insurers NFU Mutual. And 47% of farmers who responded said they had…

SHEEP

How farmers are fighting sheep worrying with social media

Dog attacks on sheep show no sign of abating – with a rising tide of farmers using social media to highlight the devastation it causes. Although farmers are sometimes legally…

FLY-TIPPING

The story behind the fly-tipping epidemic on farms

Two-thirds of farmers and landowners are hit by fly-tipping each year, according to research by Keep Britain Tidy. That’s a staggering statistic, but sadly one which will not come as…

CRIME

Focus on the fight against rural crime

Rural crime is reaching new levels across the country, with machinery and livestock theft, burglary and vandalism topping the list. NFU Mutual puts the cost of rural crime in the…

Video

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CRIME

Video: Fly-tippers blamed as barley crop goes up in smoke

A Suffolk farmer has been inundated with messages of support after a field fire consumed 14ha of barley. Fly-tippers burning rubbish in a field gateway are believed to have caused…

CRIME

Video: Farm bunds fend off rural criminals

It’s a simple but effective crime prevention measure that doesn’t cost farmers the earth. For centuries, earth bunds were used to protect areas and keep unwanted visitors off land near…

CRIME

Video: Farms turned into fortresses to battle rural crime

Farmers from Ambion Contractors Ltd, near Sutton Cheney in Leicestershire, in the shadows of the Bosworth battlefield, are engaged in their own battle – the constant fight against rural crime.…

CRIME

Video: Dog attack - 'no farmer should have to go through it'

Warning: Video contains graphic images. Dog attacks on sheep cost the UK farming industry £1.2m in 2018, according to NFU Mutual, and in Wales incidents are on the rise. Gareth…