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The annual report details that rural crime has hit a seven-year high, costing the UK £50 million in 2018, up 12 per cent on the previous year. The insurer said that farmers were targeted and left to deal with ‘repeated thefts by gangs who take advantage of farms’ isolated locations to steal machinery, raid tool stores and even butcher sheep in the fields’.
Tim Price, a rural affairs specialist at NFU Mutual, said the last time rural theft reached such levels was in 2011 when international gangs ‘took advantage of a largely unsecured countryside’. He added: ‘Today, we are seeing another rise as organised criminal gangs with links to money laundering and drugs find ways to beat security and steal farm vehicles.’
→ Guardian - Rural crime in Britain hits seven-year high
→ Farmers Guardian - Rural crime costing farmers almost £50m as 2018 figures hit seven-year high
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