All articles about 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 in our Ultimate Guide to farm security kit and How to stop thieves stealing your Land Rover.

Advice and tips


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…


NFU practical farm advice for dealing with activists

This month has seen an unparalleled step up in activist activity on farm and online, coinciding with the dairy industry’s #Februdairy promotional campaign. Reports of trespassing, threats of violence and…


9 tips to combat farm theft during darker nights

Police and insurers are warning farmers to remain vigilant as darker evenings create opportunities for thieves to target rural properties. Vehicles and equipment stored in outbuildings are particularly vulnerable to…


Security kit to protect your quad bike from thieves

The rise in reported thefts of farm ATVs shows no signs of abating, with recent NFU stats revealing that 284 machines were stolen in the first six months of this…

See all


7 tips to foil farm arsonists

Farmers and landowners are being urged to heed new advice to avoid being targeted by arsonists this harvest season. An investigation by Farmers Weekly found the cost of fires had…

Fight against illegal pesticides

When customs officers seized 21t of counterfeit and illicit pesticides in Poland earlier this summer, it marked the end of the road for an illegal shipment smuggled more than 9,000…

Combating farm kit crime on UK shores

If you have ever had a tractor stolen from your farm, the chances are by the time you even notice it has gone, it is halfway on its journey out…

Retained firefighters to the rescue

An assortment of well-worn wellington boots in the kit room at a Welsh fire station lends a clue to the profession of more than one-third of its retained crew. When…

See all

Case studies


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…


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…

See all



Elderly farmer devastated after favourite tractor is stolen

An elderly farmer has been left devastated after his favourite Fergie tractor was stolen just months after his wife passed away. Grandson John Fisher shared a photo of the little…

See all



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…


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…


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…


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…

See all



Dog owner fined £2,100 after sheep attacked

A dog owner has been fined more than £2,000 after a sheep worrying incident in Northern Ireland. Chris Steele, 41, of the Mourneview Park area of Carrickfergus, pleaded guilty at…


Farmer finds ram raid cash machine while combining

A Hampshire arable farmer found an empty cash machine stolen in a ram raid on a petrol station while combining his crop of oilseed rape. The farmer, whose identity we…


Police forces unite to tackle hare coursing

Police officers from across central and eastern England are joining forces to tackle the seasonal blight of illegal hare coursing on farms. With harvest now complete, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire,…


Three deer killed and straw stack torched in farm attack

A “barbaric” attack on a farm in Cambridgeshire has left three fallow deer dead and a large stack of straw destroyed. Charlie Rand was alerted to the fire in his…

See all

Test and reviews


GPS tracking devices on test

GPS trackers are becoming a popular way for farmers to safeguard their tractors, but do they work? Emily Padfield and David Cousins fitted seven different models to one tractor to…

See all



Video: Farmer's camera catches fly-tipper in the act

A dairy farmer is appealing to the public to help identify a shameless woman caught on camera appearing to fly-tip on his land. Joe Tucker, 19, installed a small camera…


Video: Fake websites dupe farm machinery buyers

Farmers are losing thousands of pounds to criminals who are setting up fake websites offering tractors and other equipment for sale. Buyers looking for bargains are being hoodwinked into paying…


Video: Farmer hit in face with metal bar by hare coursers

A Cambridgeshire farmer needed 14 stitches after being struck by a metal bar during an encounter with illegal hare coursers. Will Wombwell, of JD Wombwell & Son, Ickleton, was hit…


Video: Fly-tip victim says his farm has become a 'warzone’

Essex grower Harry Fisher says criminal gangs dumping waste on an industrial scale have turned his farm into a “warzone”. Mr Fisher, who farms 240ha growing potatoes and cereals in…

See all