Rural crime cost North Yorkshire over a million pounds in 2015, new figures have revealed.
The statistics form part of NFU Mutual’s annual Rural Crime Report, revealing that the cost of rural crime to the UK economy has now reached £42-and-a-half million a year.
NFU Mutual Agent Matthew Gummerson said: “Farmers and police have been working hard to adopt high-tech security measures to tackle the problems.
“These now include: cloning tractor identities, advertising non-existent machinery in agricultural publications and stealing the GPS computer systems which are a key part of modern farming.”
The report reveals that there has been a shift in the items being targeted at rural homes as well.
In the latest survey of NFU Mutual’s agency network, the theft of garden equipment was cited as the biggest growing trend along with 4x4’s.
The majority of NFU Mutual Agent’s surveyed (65 per cent) also reported that thieves in their area are becoming more sophisticated in the way that they operate and cyber crime is also a growing concern amongst their communities.
The survey also revealed that social media is now the main resource for sharing information about crime in rural communities and is a valuable tool – not only in the prevention of rural crime but also for catching criminals and returning stolen goods to owners.
Matthew added: “Our advice to people living and working in the countryside remains the same; evaluate your current security measures making improvements where necessary, remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the local police but also community watch schemes.”
For more information and advice on how to beat rural crime in your area, visit the website at: www.nfumutual.co.uk/ruralcrime.