New survey reveals rural crime rises in the east
PUBLISHED: 10:03 11 August 2014 | UPDATED: 12:59 12 August 2014
Archant Norfolk Photographic Â© 2011
The cost of rural crime in eastern England rose by 12pc in 2013 – costing the economy an estimated £8.5m and making it the worst-affected region in the UK.
The figures are part of a UK-wide survey by NFU Mutual, which shows the nationwide cost of rural crime totalled an estimated £44.5m in 2013 – a rise of 5.2%. The new figure reverses a fall of 19% in 2012.
The most common items targeted by thieves in the eastern counties over the past 12 months were tools, machinery and fuel such as domestic heating oil and farmers’ supplies of ‘red’ diesel. More than half of staff interviewed from hundreds of NFU Mutual offices in rural communities around the country also said they had seen customers suffer repeat crimes or had high-value items stolen.
Although high-value thefts may be planned and highly-organised, the number of stolen garden tools and ornaments indicates opportunist thieves continue to target gardens and outbuildings.
Alex Forbes, an NFU Mutual Agent, said: “The cost of claims is increasing as a result of more high-value items being stolen. That’s why it’s important to stay vigilant and fight rural crime.
“Our experience with people who live and work in rural areas of East Anglia clearly shows that theft is more than just a setback – it can be devastating for businesses and families.
“One of the rural community’s best assets is its people who can work together to safeguard the local neighbourhood.
“That is why NFU Mutual organises the Country Crime Fighters Awards, a nationwide competition to support and encourage fantastic examples of crime prevention taking place in the countryside.
“You can enter or nominate someone on our website.”
Visit www.nfumutual.co.uk/ruralcrime for further details.
Have you got a crime story? Call Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email firstname.lastname@example.org