£2.5m - the cost of rural crime in Lincolnshire

On patrol: Police face battle to  reduce cost of rural crime in Lincolnshire
On patrol: Police face battle to reduce cost of rural crime in Lincolnshire

People living and working in the countryside have been advised to ‘evaluate their security measures’ after a report revealed rural crime cost Lincolnshire almost £2.5m last year.

The figures are contained in the NFU Mutual’s annual rural crime report.

That total for 2016 in Lincolnshire was up five per cent from £2.4m in 2015.

The report states all-terrain vehicles and quad bikes, tools and 4x4s topped thieves’ wish-list

The NFU says across the country, rural crime fell by four per cent in 2016 but adds statistics for the first half of this year show a sharp rise of over 20% nationally, raising concerns that a new wave of rural crime is hitting the countryside.

Sue Green, NFU Mutual Senior Agent in Lincolnshire, said: “Countryside criminals continue to become more brazen and farmers are now having to continually increase security and adopt new ways of protecting their equipment.

“In some parts of the county, farmers are having to turn their farmyards into fortresses. The report reveals that being ‘staked out’ is the biggest worry, followed closely by longer police response times in rural areas.

Sue adds, “The threat of becoming a victim of rural crime is causing high levels of anxiety. Our advice is to regularly evaluate your security measures making improvements where necessary, remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the local police.”

Lincolnshire Chief Constable Bill Skelly has revealed a new rural crime initiative is being put into operation by the force, designed to reduce offences. He stressed tackling rural crime was a priority.