Thursday, 04 August 2016 09:47

Cost of rural crime tops £42m

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Cost of rural crime tops £42m

THE cost of rural crime rose to £42.5 million last year, reveal the latest findings from rural insurer NFU Mutual.

The 2015 figure represents a "disappointing" 0.4% increase on 2014 which itself was drop in the annual cost of rural crime from £44.5m in 2013, said the company.

"Every year, rural crime costs millions of pounds and causes untold anxiety across the UK," said an NFU Mutual spokesman.

"While only costing slightly more than last year (0.4%) it is still disappointing as the cost in 2014 had reduced from that in 2013.

Despite little change overall, analysis of the figures shows there were still winners and losers in the war on rural crime regionally.

The worst affected regions remain the north-east and east of England, where rural crime cost £7.9m and £6.9m respectively.

The biggest rises were in the Midlands (up 10% on 2014) and Northern Ireland (up 13%).

Nicki Whittaker of NFU Mutual said: "It is not just farmers who are affected by rural crime.

"People who live and work in the countryside were also targeted by thieves seeking our garden tools and equipment, heating oil, trailers and 4x4s."

Better figures were experienced in Scotland and south-east England, where the cost of rural crime reduced by 6% and 9% respectively.

Scotland also has the lowest annual cost of rural crime (£1.7m), a figure which is closely followed by Wales, where rural crime costs £2m annually.

Based on claims experience over the previous 12 months, NFU Mutual agencies were asked to rank the items which were most commonly targeted by thieves in their area.

Results were totalled across the whole country to reveal a UK-wide top ten.

Tractors proved particularly vulnerable in the East and North East of England where a spate of high value thefts occurred and accounted for almost half of the total cost across the UK.

The costs of quad bike (ATV) theft saw a 6% reduction, with Scotland experiencing g a 40% drop following a large scale initiative to provide specialist training to affected police forces.

Livestock rustling remains a huge problem with costs stubbornly high in Northern Ireland, north-east England and the West Country.

At a total cost to the UK of £2.9m, 70% came from these three regions alone.

There was good news for some sectors, however. Equine tack and equipment thefts reduced by 41% during the year – with big reductions seen across almost every region.

NFU Mutual said this was testament to Horse Watch Schemes now in operation across the UK.

The full report can be downloaded here.

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