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

Roving criminal gangs raid farms for GPS systems

Gangs of rural thieves have been raiding farms, stealing high-value global positioning system (GPS) receiver domes and guidance systems from tractors and combine harvesters, causing huge disruption to farmers finishing…

NEWS

Persistent offender jailed after farmer tip-offs

A man has been jailed for breaching an animal protection order after a local farming community provided evidence of his crimes to the police. York Magistrates Court heard how Michael…

CRIME

Activists target gun owners after addresses shared online

Animal rights activists are understood to be targeting farmers who own guns after a data breach resulted in thousands of names and addresses being shared online. The National Crime Agency…

CRIME

Borderless policing to crack down on hare coursing

Seven police forces in England have removed the borders between them in a bid to crack down on hare coursing in the east of the country. The agreement between Bedfordshire,…

CRIME

Crimestoppers launches fresh campaign to tackle rural crime

Crimestoppers has launched its biggest ever rural campaign after a surge in calls to its helpline during the Covid-19 pandemic. The charity said 2,700 callers had reported rural crimes to…

CRIME

Vandals smash up farmer’s tractors and leave death threats

A farmer says he is the victim of a malicious and targeted attack after two of his tractors had windows and GPS equipment smashed, fuel tanks punctured and death threats…

CRIME

Prison for sheep rustler who stole livestock worth £87,000

A man who stole £87,640 worth of sheep in a series of raids on Herefordshire farms has been sentenced to eight months in prison. Daniel Smith, of Upper Court in…

CRIME

NFU event to urge dog walkers to act responsibly

The NFU has joined with partners to encourage dog walkers to put pets on a lead when walking near farm animals and follow the countryside code. Latest figures from insurer…

Practical advice

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CRIME

Warning after spate of harvest GPS thefts in West Country

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has issued advice on protecting high-tech farm equipment after a spate of thefts in the West Country this harvest. Thieves are increasingly targeting…

CRIME

10 tips for farm crime prevention as clocks go back

When winter is approaching and clocks go back an hour as British Summer Time officially ends, it is a good time for farmers to review their security. Farms in the…

CRIME

What to do if you’re a victim of… vegan activist incursions

Vegan activists have been targeting farms to stage protests and lead incursions, leaving farmers scared and intimidated. Abuse on social media can be hard enough to cope with, but dealing…

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…

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

Crime falls but farms still at risk from 'slicker' thieves

Rural crime rates have dropped to their lowest level in five years according to the latest figures from NFU Mutual, which estimates the cost of farm theft at just over…

CRIME

How the police want livestock worrying laws tightened

Tougher penalties for irresponsible pet owners who allow their out-of-control dogs to attack livestock are on target to be introduced in England and Wales later this year, say rural police.…

CRIME

Working farm dog thefts on the rise across the country

Working farm dogs have soared in value, with one 12-month old sheepdog recently fetching £28,000. But even the plainest pooches now command a hefty price tag, making them a soft…

CRIME

Rural crime: The mental and financial toll on farmers

In 2019, rural crime cost the UK £54.3m – a rise of nearly 9% from the previous year, with farmers bearing the brunt of the damage. But it is not…

CRIME

Why farmers want stronger action on hare coursing

Extreme weather and the coronavirus pandemic resulted in a challenging harvest for farmers across the country, who must now deal with the next threat – criminals taking advantage of bare…

CRIME

Rural crime costs reach highest level in 8 years

Rural crime rates have risen to their highest level for eight years according to the latest figures, which show that farm theft is costing the sector £54m annually. The cost…

CRIME

Northants sheep slaughter: The story behind the killing spree

It was a spate of attacks that terrorised farming communities in Northamptonshire. Under the cover of darkness, hundreds of sheep and lambs were slaughtered and butchered in fields. The sheep…

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…

Video

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NEWS

Video: Farmer enlists geese to sound alarm over trespassers

A north Hampshire farmer is using geese to raise the alarm when unwanted visitors enter his farmyard. Tom Janaway said the birds’ piercing honks are an excellent way to alert…

CRIME

Video: Terrifying moment hare coursers tear across farm

A Suffolk young farmer has captured the terrifying moment hare coursers in two cars ripped through a field before speeding off down a country lane – narrowly missing onlookers. Katherine…

CRIME

Video: Farm sprayer GPS theft caught on camera

Two men have been caught on camera stealing tractor GPS equipment from sprayers on a farm in Lincolnshire. The thieves, both dressed in dark clothes, masks and gloves, can be…

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…