Ru­ral crime stays steady

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Countryfile -

Ru­ral crime cost the Kent econ­omy £1.8mil­lion last year, the same amount as the year be­fore, it has been re­vealed. Tools, quad bikes and fuel, such as do­mes­tic heat­ing oil and red diesel, were top of the list for thieves in the county ac­cord­ing to re­search by the NFU Mu­tual farm­ing in­sur­ance firm. While Kent’s crime fig­ure flat­lined, the na­tion­wide cost of ru­ral crime grew 5.2% to £44.5mil­lion in 2013, fol­low­ing a fall of 19% from the year be­fore. How­ever, the af­ter-af­fects could be mak­ing the economic im­pact much higher, ac­cord­ing to the Kent branch of the CLA, the Coun­try Land and Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion. Last year, God­in­ton House near Ash­ford had two lead stat­ues worth £30,000 stolen from their grounds as well as a chain­saw worth £1,200. Es­tate man­ager Nick Sand­ford, who is chair­man of the Kent CLA, said: “The on­go­ing cost of staff time and re­pairs are the un­seen cost of ru­ral crime. “By the time you have fixed fences, put in new locks, dealt with the ten­ants af­fected and dis­cussed the se­cu­rity costs you have added half a day’s work. That is not fac­tored into the cost of th­ese things.” Can­ter­bury-based NFU Mu­tual agent James Hodge said: “The cost of claims re­mains high as a re­sult of high-value items be­ing stolen. That’s why it’s im­por­tant to stay vig­i­lant and fight ru­ral crime.”

For in­for­ma­tion on crime pre­ven­tion visit www.nfu­mu­tual. co.uk/ru­ral­crime

COST: Nick Sand­ford

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