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

Rustlers raid Cumbria farm and steal 105 lambs

Police have put farmers in the North West on alert after more than 100 lambs were stolen from a Cumbria farm. Rustlers took the livestock from the Penruddock area of…

BPS

RPA issues fraud warning and new guidance on emails

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has published new guidance for farmers about sending in documents by email, and updated its advice to prevent claimants becoming victims of fraud. If farmers…

FLY-TIPPING

Clampdown on cannabis farm fly-tipping in countryside

Reports of cannabis farm fly-tipping incidents are on the increase in North Yorkshire, say police. Criminals have been abandoning the remains of cannabis farms in rural parts of the county,…

CRIME

Poll: Has rural crime worsened during the pandemic?

Almost three-quarters of people living in the countryside (74%) think rural crime is on the increase, according to a poll carried out by the Countryside Alliance (CA). More than 8,000…

CRIME

Land Rover cannibalised for parts found in maize field

Police have recovered a stolen Land Rover Defender from a maize field in Warwickshire after thieves abandoned their efforts to strip the vehicle for parts. The suspects fled their rural…

CRIME

Cost of tackling food crime soars post Brexit, Lib Dems say

The cost of protecting the UK market from food crime has risen to its highest levels since the 2013 horsemeat scandal. According to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request made…

CRIME

Farmer devastated after hare coursers mow down six sheep

*WARNING: ARTICLE CONTAINS GRAPHIC PHOTOS* Hare coursers deliberately ploughed through a flock of sheep, killing six animals in a barbaric attack in Dorset. The devastated farmer found the mangled bodies…

CRIME

Farmer turns detective to track down tractor GPS thief

A farmer turned detective and traced a rural thief believed to be responsible for the large-scale theft of high-value tractor global positioning system (GPS) equipment. The entire fleet of John…

Practical advice

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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…

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…

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

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…

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…

Video

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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.…