Rural farm theft is at 'seven-year high'
New data from rural insurer NFU Mutual shows that losses to British farmers from theft hit a seven-year high of £50m in 2018.
As a result of these crimes, farmers are reporting increased levels of anxiety and isolation to NFU Mutual agents.
A massive 26% rise in claims for stolen farm vehicles to £7.4m last year, was behind the overall increase. With animal theft claims also rising to 3.7%.
Tim Price, from NFU Mutual, said: "Farmers and country people are suffering from high levels of anxiety due to repeated thefts by gangs who take advantage of farms' isolated locations to steal machinery, raid tool stores and even butcher sheep in the fields.
In a single generation, country people have seen rural crime change from the opportunist theft of a single lamb, to brazen heists of tractors worth over £100,000 and rustlers stealing hundreds of sheep
We are even seeing agricultural vehicles being stolen to smash into village shops to rob cash machines. As well as causing huge structural damage to buildings, these raids can lead to shop owners not replacing ATMs for fear of further attacks."
You can read the full report here