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Stolen tractors cost the industry £42.2m

New research from NFU Mutual indicates that rural crime is rising - with a sharp increase in expensive tractors thefts at the forefront of the trend.

John Deere TractorNew research from NFU Mutual indicates that rural crime is rising - with a sharp increase in expensive tractors thefts at the forefront of the trend.

The insurer’s claims figures show a 5.5% increase in machinery thefts across the UK in 2009, estimated to have cost the industry £42.2 million. That figure was £30.28m in 2008, demonstrating the impact of a recent wave of high value targets.

In a new report, NFU Mutual notes that during the last two years there has been a significant increase in the number of tractors being stolen ‘to order’ often for immediate export from channel ports to destinations including Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

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Other findings from the NFU Mutual National Rural Crime Survey 2010 show that:

  • 70% of the insurer's 300 branches reported rural crime in their area had increased compared to the same period in 2009. 7% said it decreased, while 23% reported the same level as 2009.
  • 71% of branches said that they believed rural crime was planned.17% said it was opportunist crime and 12% said it was a mixture of both.
  • Almost two thirds of branches (63%) reported that perpetrators were from outside the areas involved. 22% said that while they believed the actual thefts were undertaken by people from outside the area, evidence suggested that in most organised thefts, some degree of ‘local’ knowledge was involved.
  • 64% of branches believe that better security measures are the key to reducing rural crime. 18% believe a greater police presence would help reduce rural crime rates. Only 9% believe that membership of a ‘watch’ scheme will help.

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