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

31 in-lamb ewes stolen from mid-Wales farm

Police have issued a fresh appeal for information after 31 Mule cross Texel sheep were stolen from a farm in Wales. The in-lamb ewes were taken from enclosed fields near…

CRIME

Farmer demands crackdown after confronting hare coursers

A farmer who confronted hare coursers trespassing on his family’s land has demanded more protection for rural communities and wildlife – and criticised the lack of action to tackle poaching.…

CRIME

50 sheep killed in horrific dog attack on Welsh farm

A farmer has been left devastated after 50 ewes were forced into a field corner and killed in a horrific dog attack on a farm in south Wales. The sheep…

CRIME

In-calf Highland cow killed in horrific dog attack

An in-calf Highland heifer just weeks away from calving has been killed in a horrific dog attack after a Rottweiler escaped from its home and savaged the cow in its…

CRIME

Warning over spate of quad bike thefts during lockdown

Farmers have been warned that lockdown restrictions are doing little to deter criminals from targeting any security weakness to steal quad bikes and all-terrain vehicles. A spate of incidents in…

CRIME

Police recover stolen sheep in Shropshire after chase

A police pursuit in Shropshire ended with officers finding four sheep in the back of a vehicle. An appeal has been launched to find the farmer they belong to. At…

CRIME

Petition seeks law change against hare coursers

Farmers are being urged to sign a petition calling for stiffer sentences to deter hare coursers and poachers. It comes amid growing concern following a reported increase in the number…

CRIME

Hampshire farmer slams police response to sheep worrying

A farmer who had sheep savaged in a horrific dog attack has hit out at police and criticised their response to the incident and failure to prosecute the dog owner.…

Practical advice

See all

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…

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…

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

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…

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…

Video

See all

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…