Fuel, tractors, machinery and trailers top the thieves ‘wish list’ of rural crime in Cambridgeshire says new study
- Credit: Archant
Fuel, tractors, machinery and trailers top the thieves ‘wish list’ in Cambridgeshire despite rural crime dropping last year.
NFU Mutual Insurance said rural crime still cost the county £1.7million in 2014 – down from £2.4million in 2013.
Stephen Hutchinson, NFU mutual senior agent in Cambridgeshire, said: “Despite the fall, 2014 saw thieves continue to target expensive tractors and machinery and the county remains one of the country’s worst affected.”
The figures are part of a UK-wide survey by NFU Mutual. The annual rural crime survey shows the nationwide cost of rural crime totalled an estimated £37.8 million in 2014 – a 15 per cent reduction on last year’s figures.
The items most commonly targeted by thieves across Cambridgeshire over the last 12 months were fuels such as domestic heating oil and farmers’ supplies of ‘red’ diesel, tractors, machinery and trailers.
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Reflecting the changing nature of rural crime, in a survey of NFU Mutual’s nationwide network of branch offices, 63 per cent of those surveyed said that cybercrime is a growing problem for rural communities while recent claims data also shows thieves are taking advantage of new targets such as solar panels.
Mr Hutchinson said: “That there’s been an overall decline in the cost of rural crime over the last 12 months is welcome news and reflects the huge efforts being made by communities and others to tackle this problem.
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“Initiatives aimed at reducing livestock theft and installing CESAR tracking for agricultural vehicles are having a real impact and making life increasingly difficult for rural criminals.
“That said, problem areas remain and thieves continue to exploit weaknesses such as around ATVs and tools.
“So, while today’s survey contains some good news, it also highlights the need for rural communities to remain vigilant and put security at the forefront of their minds.”