Re­port shows crim­i­nals con­tinue to tar­get ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties

Star Courier (Surrey & Hants) - - FRONT PAGE -

RU­RAL rais­ing con­cerns that a new wave of ru­ral crime is hit­ting the coun­try­side.

Pa­trick Govier, NFU Mu­tual agent in Al­ton, said: “Al­though the fig­ures for ru­ral crime in Hamp­shire are down, coun­try­side crim­i­nals con­tinue to be­come more brazen and farm­ers are hav­ing to con­tin­u­ally in­crease se­cu­rity and adopt new ways of pro­tect­ing equip­ment.

“In some parts of the county, farm­ers are hav­ing to turn their farm­yards into fortresses to pro­tect them­selves from re­peated thieves, who are tar­get­ing quads, trac­tors and power tools.

“They are us­ing track­ing de­vices on trac­tors, video and infra- red sur­veil­lance in their farm­yards and even DNA mark­ers to pro­tect sheep from rustlers.”

The re­port re­veals that be­ing ‘ staked out’ is the big­gest worry, fol­lowed closely by longer po­lice re­sponse times in ru­ral ar­eas.

Crim­i­nals con­tinue to tar­get Land Rover De­fend­ers, quad bikes, trac­tors, tools and live­stock.

Mr Govier said: “Our ad­vice to peo­ple liv­ing and work­ing in the coun­try­side is to reg­u­larly eval­u­ate your se­cu­rity mea­sures.

Re­main vig­i­lant and re­port sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity.”

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