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Rural Crime is on the Rise – how can you help yourself?

Rural Crime has always been a key issue throughout the countryside but has risen considerably further up the agenda of rural concerns over the last few years. Key issues gathered from surveys include anti-social behaviour, policing issues, tipping, theft, and trespass.

Last year in 2019, rural crime cost the UK £54m, an increase of almost 9% on 2018. For the second year running, the sharp rise was driven by thefts of high-value tractors, expensive farm vehicles such as Land Rover Defenders, quad bikes, and other farm vehicles. Livestock theft also increased in 2019, with organised gangs taking large numbers of sheep, which are thought to be entering the food chain illegally.

Protecting rural property today requires vigilance and an agile response. Thieves constantly change their targets and seek ways to defeat security measures. As every farm and rural property is unique, each requires an individual response combining physical security measures and hi-tech devices together with strong community links to stay aware of crime trends.

Selecting the right combination from the three categories below and regularly updating your approach is the best way to keep ahead of rural thieves;


  • Fit and use security gates on yard and land entrances
  • Secure workshops, outbuildings, and chemical stores
  • Remove keys when not in use and lock up farm and domestic vehicles whenever possible
  • Use a specialist device such as a Quad Vice to lock down your quad
  • Keep vehicle GPS equipment locked in a secure place when possible


  • Join and participate in rural watch groups
  • Use local WhatsApp groups for immediate updates on suspicious activity
  • Get to know your local police rural crime team
  • Report crimes and suspicious sightings to police
  • Use the Crimestoppers number to report rural crimes anonymously


  • Fit tracking devices to tractors, quads and any other vehicles of worth
  • Use CESAR vehicle marking to deter thieves and aid recoveries
  • Install CCTV to cover property and land entrances and yards
  • Consider geo-fencing to alert you if vehicles go off the farm
  • Use burglar alarms with infra-red motion sensors
  • Consider protecting livestock with Tec-Tracer to deter rustlers and theft

Making the best preparations will stand you in good stead to avoid or mitigate rural crime, however making sure your insurance policies also protect you for this eventuality is paramount. Please talk to us at Cox Mahon for an informal chat on your insurance provision to ensure you are covered.