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Rural Crime 2015 – Secure Together

As the UK’s leading rural insurer, looking after our rural communities is central to what we do. Every year rural crime costs millions of pounds and causes untold anxiety across the UK. Our claims data and expertise gives us a unique insight into rural crime trends across the country and over the long-term.  

This year, thanks to a range of initiatives backed by NFU Mutual including the Lancashire Livestock scheme and the on-going insurance discounts associated with tracker devices and CESAR marking, we have seen a slight decrease in the cost of rural crime.  

That said, crime still cost our rural communities far too much in 2014 and items such as quad bikes and tools continue to be targeted by thieves. 

Rural Crime UK Map

Headline findings for 2015

  • Rural theft cost an estimated £37.8m in the UK during 2014 – down 15%  on 2013’s high of £44.5m  
  • While tractor thefts are coming down, thanks to innovations in security and associated insurance discounts, theft of quad bikes have risen dramatically, in some regions by as much as 80% 
  • The cost of livestock theft declined marginally representing more of a redistribution of livestock theft than a reduction as criminals move around to target vulnerable communities 
  • Despite a decrease in the cost of rural crime since the last survey, the East of England remains the UK’s worst affected region, with rural crime costing an estimated £6.3m 
  • Essex was the worst affected county in 2014 with rural crime costing an estimated £2.4m, up from £2m in 2013 
  • Livestock crime is on the increase across Wales, the Midlands, East of England and Northern Ireland 
  • Quad bike theft is up in Scotland and the Midlands
  • The survey of NFU Mutual’s network of 300 agencies reveals that criminals are using increasingly sophisticated means and technology, with communities also employing advanced security such as CCTV to better defend themselves from the threat of crime. 63% of those surveyed also revealed that cybercrime is a growing concern for rural communities. 

Based on claims experience over the previous 12 months, NFU Mutual agencies were asked to rank the items which were most commonly targeted by thieves in their area. Results were totalled across the whole country to reveal a UK-wide top ten. As in 2013, fuel, ATVs and tools remain at the top of criminals wish lists. 

Item 2015 ranking 2014 ranking Change
Tools  1 1
ATV/quad bikes 2 2
Oil/diesel 3 3
Machinery 4 4
Livestock 5 5
Garden equipment 5  6 ↓1
Trailers 8  7 ↑ 1
Vehicles 9 8 ↑ 1
Tractors 7 9 ↓ 2
Bicycles - New entry