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

Somerset farmers fear rural crime surge over police cuts

Farmers in Somerset fear a shrinking of police resources in the countryside will leave them more vulnerable to rural crime this summer. Avon and Somerset Police Force has confirmed it…

CRIME

FOI requests reveal 'crisis' in rural policing

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request by a landowners’ organisation has exposed a crisis in rural policing, it says. The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) approached 36 police forces…

CRIME

Fraud and safety concerns prompt meat recall in South East

Restaurants, cafes and hotels in London and the South East have been ordered to remove meat and meat products from sale produced by Kent-based Block and Cleaver. According to the…

FLY-TIPPING

Scots govt to remove landowner liability for fly-tipping

The Scottish government has agreed to remove liability from “innocent” landowners for clearing unwanted fly-tipped waste from private land. Murdo Fraser, Conservative MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, says he…

FLY-TIPPING

Majority of farmers victims of fly-tipping, finds NFU survey

More than half of farmers (52%) surveyed by the NFU were found to have experienced at least some level of fly-tipping on their land. The survey also found that almost…

CRIME

Welsh landowner fined for tree felling offences

A substantial fine has been issued to a landowner for felling trees without the appropriate licence in an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB). Welsh landowner Jeff Lane reportedly felled…

FLY-TIPPING

Tories pledge points on driving licences for fly-tippers

Fly-tippers could face up to six penalty points on their driving licences, under new proposals by the Conservatives ahead of the general election. The pledge, which will be included in…

CRIME

Growers warned after organised break-in at agchem store

Growers and distributors of plant protection products (PPPs) are being warned to be on high alert after a well-organised break-in at a secure distributor store. The Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC)…

Practical advice

See all

CRIME

Video: Former SAS soldier on a mission to combat rural crime

Ex SAS soldier Mick Hawkes spent four years breaking into farm complexes under cover in Northern Ireland to combat the IRA. The covert operations mainly involved working against terrorism, looking…

BUSINESS CLINIC

Business Clinic: How does livestock theft cover work?

Whether you have a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, Farmers Weekly’s Business Clinic experts can help. Rory Gibson, regional director, A-plan Rural Insurance, outlines what to consider on…

CRIME

Sheep worrying advice for lambing time

As lambing season gets under way, a string of recent sheep worrying incidents have left farmers asking what they can do to try to protect their flocks when they are…

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

Common scams - how to protect your farm business against them

Cyber attacks are increasingly sophisticated, with fraudsters using new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in a farm’s online security. Scammers operate on the telephone too, masquerading as representatives from legitimate companies…

BUSINESS CLINIC

Business Clinic: How can I protect against cybercrime?

Whether you have a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, Farmers Weekly’s Business Clinic experts can help. Will Oakes, account executive, with A-Plan Rural Insurance, highlights the risk and…

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…

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

Video: Dorset farmers tackle deadly dog attacks

Livestock worrying poses a significant ongoing threat to farmers across the UK, but latest figures show the South West is the worst-affected region. Farm animals worth about £2.4m were severely…

CRIME

How successful is the National Rural Crime Unit one year on?

Headed up by Northumbria police superintendent Andy Huddleston, the National Rural Crime Unit (NRCU) was formed, and continues to operate, against a backdrop of geopolitical unrest, a situation which has…

CRIME

Farmers Weekly's meat scandal exposé: One year on

This time last year, Farmers Weekly published an exclusive investigation into a mass food fraud and safety scandal which engulfed the sector. But has any progress been made on tackling…

CRIME

Long winter nights bring rural crime warning for farmers

Rural crime is an unrelenting nuisance for farmers – be it fly-tippers, thieves stalking farmyards to pilfer expensive kit or fuel, rustlers brazenly stealing livestock, or poachers wrecking fields and…

CRIME

Livestock rustling takes its toll on targeted farmers

Rustling is now such a threat to livestock farms that some victims are changing their farming practices to avoid further thefts. PC Sebastian Haggett, of Dorset Police’s Rural Crime Team,…

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…

Video

See all

CRIME

Video: CCTV captures GPS kit being stolen

Thieves stole four tractor domes and a GPS screen from a Leicestershire arable and poultry farmer. Will Oliver said two men took £25,000 worth of kit in the overnight raid…

NEWS

Vegan activists arrested over £80,000 damage at Muller site

Vegan activists protesting against the dairy industry have been criticised by the police after a group broke into a milk processing site and punctured 200 truck tyres, causing an estimated…

CRIME

Video: Brazen thieves caught on CCTV stealing farm equipment

One farming family has described the financial and psychological impact of being hit by theft, after thieves stole a farm truck and thousands of pounds of tools. The equipment and…

CRIME

Video: Two arrests after rural crime raids on farms

Two men have been arrested and thousands of pounds worth of stolen agricultural and plant machinery has been recovered after police carried out dawn raids in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. Officers…