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

CRIME

Newark Cattle Market barn fire treated as arson

Police assisting at the scene of a fire at a barn near the A46 Cattle Market island at Newark have confirmed they are investigating the incident as a potential arson…

CRIME

Trio remanded over illegal sheep slaughters

Three men have appeared in court over a series of illegal sheep butchery offences across Northamptonshire this summer. Robert Iordan, 23, Florin Nutu, 35, and Voirel Manu, 38, are charged…

CRIME

Two men arrested in illegal sheep slaughter probe

Two men have been arrested over a spate of illegal sheep butchery incidents on farms in the Midlands. Officers from Northamptonshire Police responded to reports of suspicious activity in a…

CRIME

Stoke-based farmer punished for serious livestock neglect

A livestock keeper from Stoke-on-Trent has been given an 18-week jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, ordered to pay £1,500 in costs, and given a lifetime ban on keeping cattle,…

CRIME

Arsonists target former Farmer of the Year Robert Neill

Arsonists have targeted the Scottish Borders farm of 2017 Farmers Weekly Farmer of the Year Robert Neill, destroying 900 bales of straw. The fire broke out at Upper Nisbet Farm,…

CRIME

Stolen farm quad recovered thanks to tracker

A stolen quad bike has been recovered and a man arrested in connection with its theft from North Yorkshire. At about 2pm on Tuesday 24 September 2019, a Honda quad…

CRIME

Staffordshire farmer banned from keeping animals

A Staffordshire farmer who left livestock to die in a frozen field has been banned for life from keeping animals. Stephen Croxall, 50, from Kingstone, near Uttoxeter, was also given…

NEWS

Arson latest in list of crimes to hit Oxfordshire farmer

Oxfordshire farmer Imogen Stanley has been the victim of rural crime 48 times over the past year – including an arson attack that this month destroyed two barns. Crimes include…

Practical advice

See all

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

Advice on tackling the growing threat from sheep rustling

Livestock theft is one of the costliest crimes for the UK’s farming sector, with more than £2.5m worth of animals stolen in 2018. Incidents are up by more than 10%…

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…

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: 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…