Rural crime is estimated to have cost the UK £39m in 2016, according to the annual NFU rural crime report, released today (14th August).

Data from the report shows that rural crime is costing those in the countryside 20 per cent more in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year. Criminals are targeting tractors, livestock, Land Rover Defenders, tools, and quad bikes which is forcing farmers to invest in high-tech solutions to try and tackle the issue.

Sarah Lee, Head of Policy, Countryside Alliance said:

“These figures are extremely concerning but will not come as a surprise to the many rural businesses and communities who are at the sharp end of these statistics. Crime is a key issue for rural communities and there are specific challenges to policing isolated areas for under-resourced constabularies. The gap in funding for urban and rural constabularies should be closed and not allowed to increase as it has in previous years.

“The Countryside Alliance is a key stakeholder in the National Rural Crime Network and we are pleased to have a seat at the table as we address the challenges faced by rural people and the police who serve them.

“We will continue to work with the police and other stakeholders to ensure rural crime is front and centre in policy making.”