Cost of ru­ral crime is on the in­crease, fig­ures re­veal

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

RU­RAL crime cost the county £730,000 last year, ac­cord­ing to a farmer’s in­sur­ance firm.

The cost was up from £650,000 in 2013, ac­cord­ing to NFU Mu­tual.

The items most com­monly tar­geted by thieves across Cheshire over the last 12 months were all ter­rain ve­hi­cles (ATVs) such as quad­bikes, tools and fu­els such as do­mes­tic heat­ing oil and farm­ers’ sup­plies of diesel. The fig­ures are part of the an­nual Ru­ral Crime Sur­vey by NFU Mu­tual.

The sur­vey also re­vealed the chang­ing na­ture of ru­ral crime where cy­ber­crime a grow­ing prob­lem and thieves are tak­ing ad­van­tage of new tar­gets such as so­lar pan­els.

Liz Lawrence, of NFU Mu­tual Cheshire, said: “It is dis­ap­point­ing to see lev­els of ru­ral crime ris­ing in Cheshire, es­pe­cially when there has been a de­cline na­tion­ally.

“Ini­tia­tives aimed at re­duc­ing live­stock theft and in­stalling track­ing on agri­cul­tural ve­hi­cles are hav­ing a real im­pact across the coun­try and mak­ing life in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult for crim­i­nals. But the fig­ures un­der­score the mes­sage that crim­i­nals will move to take ad­van­tage of weak­nesses and com­mu­ni­ties should re­main vig­i­lant and put se­cu­rity at the fore­front of their minds.”

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