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

See all

NEWS

Quick-thinking rural residents help catch quad bike thieves

Police have praised quick-thinking rural communities in the Yorkshire Dales after two suspected stolen quad bikes were recovered within hours of being taken. Residents in Burnsall used a WhatsApp group…

FLY-TIPPING

Spiky rubber mats could help keep fly-tippers away

Sections of spiky rubber matting could help landowners stop fly tippers and trespassers from accessing farmland. The kits are commonly used at the ends of railway platforms, but maker Rosehill…

CRIME

Three jailed for illegal sheep killings

Three men have been jailed for the illegal slaughter of hundreds of sheep and lambs on farms across Northamptonshire. Robert Iordan, 23, and Florin Nutu, 36, were each sentenced to…

CRIME

Coronavirus: Food supplies for delivery stolen from Kent farm

Food and drink supplies destined for people self-isolating have been stolen from a farm in Kent. Street Farm Dairy in High Halden, Ashford, was broken into on Tuesday evening (24…

CRIME

Third man admits sheep butchery offences

A third man has pleaded guilty to sheep butchery offences that devastated farmers in Northamptonshire. The trio travelled across the county, killing and butchering sheep in order to steal the…

CRIME

Farmer assaulted as he disinfects public footpath gates

A farmer in Derbyshire was assaulted as he disinfected public footpath gates used by crowds of walkers over the weekend. The Peak District farmer was repeatedly punched, and kicked in…

CRIME

Police seize flock of 70 suspected stolen sheep

Police have seized a vehicle in North Yorkshire containing 70 sheep they suspect have been stolen. North Yorkshire Police discovered the vehicle at Wetherby services on the evening of Saturday…

CRIME

18 sheep deliberately run over and killed in Warwickshire

In what police believe was a deliberate attack, 18 sheep have been run over and killed in Warwickshire. Three sheep were found dead in a field at Barton Crossroads in…

Practical advice

See all

CRIME

What to do if you're a victim of... trespassing travellers

A government consultation on new powers proposed for the police could make it easier to deal with travellers who set up unauthorised encampments on farmland. Hundreds of vehicles are parked…

CRIME

What to do if you’re a victim of… hare coursing

Combating hare coursing has been made a priority by rural policing strategists in recent years, to tackle the crime that breaks a host of laws, including animal welfare, criminal damage,…

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

Not all insurance fully covers flock theft, farmers warned

Livestock farmers have been warned to check their insurance fully covers herds and flocks as the darker winter months prompt a spike in rustling and illegal butchery. Many farmers opt…

CRIME

Tips for keeping your farm fuel safe from thieves

How much money do you spend on fuel for machinery? For many farmers, diesel costs are one of the biggest outgoings – anyone who has 400ha or so will be…

SHEEP

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

Livestock theft is one of the costliest crimes for the UK’s farming sector, with dozens or even hundreds of sheep being stolen in a single raid. Unfortuntately, many farmers don't…

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…

Case studies

See all

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

See all

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

See all

CRIME

Video: Wife and lover jailed for wealthy farmer’s murder

An estranged wife and her lover have been jailed for life for the murder of Hertfordshire farmer William “Bill” Taylor. Angela Taylor, 53, and Paul Cannon, 54, were found guilty…

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.…