news

Why farmers are turning their farms into fortresses

Countryside crime costing farmers dear

Rural crime in West Yorkshire has risen dramatically

Farmers in West Yorkshire are turning their farms into fortresses to combat criminal activity, it was claimed today (Mon).

Figures from insurer NFU Mutual show rural crime cost the county £1.5m in 2016 – up by 14% up on the previous year.

And figures for theft claims for the first half of this year a show a sharp rise of more than 20% nationally.

Items most commonly targeted by thieves across West Yorkshire over the last 12 months included all-terrain vehicles, quad bikes, 4x4s and tools.

John Skidmore, NFU Mutual agent in West Yorkshire, said: “Rural crime in West Yorkshire has risen dramatically during the last 12 months as 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 county, farmers are having to turn their farmyards into fortresses to protect themselves from repeated thieves who are targeting quads, tractors and power tools. They are using tracking devices on tractors, video and infra-red surveillance in their farm yards and even DNA markers to protect sheep from rustlers.”

The report revealed that being “staked out” was the biggest worry for country folk followed closely by longer police response times in rural areas. It said criminals continued to target Land Rover Defenders, quad bikes, tractors, tools and livestock despite increased security on farms.

View full mobile page