Fenland farmer feeling the punch after thieves return again and again

A FARMER who has lost �18,000 in stolen livestock and agricultural goods says rural crime is rife in Fenland.

A FARMER who has lost �18,000 in stolen livestock and agricultural goods says rural crime is rife in Fenland.

Stephen Wiggington’s farm in New Drove, Wisbech, has been burgled several times this year.

After his farm was targeted again on Monday he said thieves got an easy run in Fenland because of Government underfunding.

However, police have assured residents rural crime is falling, and say people need to be pro-active about reporting incidents.

Mr Wiggington, right, said: “Rural crime is an important issue in Fenland because it is rife and underfunded by police.

“With the way the market is at the moment, there is some damn good money to be made by criminals.”

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In March, the Standard reported how 250 chickens and turkeys were stolen from Mr Wiggington’s farm before 46 were found unfed and not watered several miles away.

Mr Wiggington spent �5,000 on hi-tech CCTV and alarms in an attempt to deter thieves. However, it hasn’t worked because vandals opened a shed on Monday and released 300 pheasants.

Earlier this month another 40 Norfolk Bronze turkeys were stolen from the farm.

Mr Wiggington said: “It’s only working up to a point. The cameras and alarms cover the majority of the premises but not all of it. They have worked out the blind spots.”

Pc Julie Coales said: “Crime is definitely down in rural areas but we are trying to encourage people who see something out of the ordinary to let us know.

“People know what’s going on in their communities, �sometimes better than we do. If we only find out a couple of days later, it’s no good to us.”

l Thieves also stole �10,000 of garden plants after taking 250 wooden trays of snowdrop bulbs from a nursery along the A47 near Wisbech between July 10 and July 12.

Anyone with information about either crimes should contact police on 0345 456 4564.

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