Despite a slight reduction in rural crime in Lincolnshire last year, criminals in remote areas cost the county almost £2 million in 2014.
According to annual figures as part of a UK-wide survey by NFU Mutual, rural crime cost £1.8 million, down from £2.2 million in 2013, with all terrain vehicles (ATVs) and tractors scoring top on thieves’ wish lists.
The annual Rural Crime Survey shows the items most commonly targeted by thieves in the county over the last 12 months were quad-bikes, tools, tractors and fuels such as domestic heating oil and farmers’ supplies of ‘red’ diesel.
Recent claims data also shows thieves are taking advantage of new targets such as solar panels.
In the survey of NFU Mutual’s nationwide network of branch offices, 63% said that cybercrime is a growing problem for rural communities.
Tim Price, Rural Affairs Specialist at NFU Mutual, said: “That there’s been an overall decline in the cost of rural crime over the last 12 months is welcome news and reflects the huge efforts being made by communities and others to tackle this problem.
“Initiatives aimed at reducing livestock theft and installing CESAR tracking for agricultural vehicles are having a real impact and making life increasingly difficult for rural criminals.
“That said, problem areas remain and thieves continue to exploit weaknesses such as around ATVs and tools.
“So, while today’s survey contains some good news, it also highlights the need for rural communities to remain vigilant and put security at the forefront of their minds.”
In East Midlands, rural crimes amounted to around £4.6 million in 2014. Across the UK, rural crime cost an estimated £37.8 million in 2014.
This week, a police appeal was issued after a sizeable theft of livestock in Lincolnshire. Up to 300 sheep and 120 cattle were stolen overnight in the Brant Broughton area.