Rural crime in Gloucestershire falls in 2017
There was a fall in rural crime in Gloucestershire last year, according to the NFU Mutual.
It said there was a £1.4 million or a 12.7% drop. The insurance company groups South Gloucestershire with Gloucestershire for the data collection and analysis for its annual rural crime report. But the area was still ranked at 7 out of the 30 areas worst affected by the cost of crime.
The picture bucked the national trend, which showed rural crime costing the UK £44.5 million, a 13.4% increase on the previous year, meaning that rural crime in the UK is rising at its fastest rate since 2010.
It’s believed that the fall in crime in the area is due to a rural policing initiative which involves close liaison with organisations and local people.
Quad bikes and ATVs (all-terrain vehicles), machinery and oil are the most desirable items for thieves, according to the report. It highlights how some areas farmers are resorting to medieval methods used alongside high tech security to deter thieves. Earth banks, dry ditches and stockade fences are helping to protect their land against criminals who use 4 x 4 vehicles.
Alfred Bryant, NFU Mutual Senior Agent in Gloucestershire, said: “Countryside criminals continue to become more brazen and farmers are now having to continually increase security and adopt new ways of protecting their equipment. Adapting centuries-old security with high tech solutions is already proving successful in keeping at bay thieves who don’t fear being caught on camera and have the skills to overcome electronic security systems.”
The biggest fear for people in rural areas is repeat attacks and limited police resources. Alfred said: “The threat of becoming a victim of rural crime, and regular reports of suspicious characters watching farms is causing high levels of anxiety amongst farmers who know their rural location makes them vulnerable to attacks.”
“Our advice to people living and working in the countryside is to regularly evaluate your current security measures making improvements where necessary, remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the local police and local farm watch schemes.”