South Lincs Sees 20% Rise In Rural Crime

17 August 2017, 07:46 | Updated: 17 August 2017, 08:24


By Bev Rimmer

South Lincolnshire farms have been hit hard by rural crime this year, with more than £2million worth of damage done since January.

Insurers NFU Mutual have said farms are looking more like "fortresses" to deter criminals.

Tools and quads were found to be the most targeted items.

Richard Barlow, whose farm is at Moulton near Spalding, told Heart he had a very expensive theft:

"One Sunday morning, I realised the tractor had been moved from where it's normally parked.

"When I looked around, I saw another tractor had gone missing too. Its trailer had just been dumped in the middle of the yard.

"Fortunately, the tractors were found and eventually returned. They were in Germany, and it took a long time to get them back.

"In the meantime, we've had to spend money on CCTV and electric gates.

"Unfortunately, those expenses aren't covered by our insurance."

An NFU spokesman said: "While falls in rural theft in 2016 were welcome, the sharp rise in the first half of 2017 is deeply worrying.

"Countryside criminals are becoming more brazen and farmers are now having to continually increase security and adopt new ways of protecting their equipment.

"In some parts of the country, farmers are having to turn their farmyards into fortresses to protect themselves from repeated thieves."