Last year rural crimes cost East Sussex £500,000

The rate of rural crimes in East Sussex cost £500,000 and there are worries for the future.

Rural insurer NFU Mutual revealed that last year rural crimes cost East Sussex just over £500,000, a fall of 12 per cent from 2020.

However, NFU Mutual says there was a rise again towards the end of 2021 in England as a whole. It also found the cost of rural crime in the UK rose more than 40 per cent in first quarter of 2022.

Farm vehicles remain a top target with thieves going after Land Rovers, quad bikes and trailers.

Rural crime in East Sussex (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)

Rustling has also become more lucrative for criminal gangs, and latest analysis shows farm animals worth an estimated £2.4m were stolen in 2021.

There’s also rising concerns around fuel thefts due to rising prices.

Looking at the country overall, the South East was the second-worst affected region in England after the Midlands.

Rebecca Davidson, rural affairs specialist at NFU Mutual, said: “Our latest claims figures warn that rural theft is quickly gathering momentum as criminals make up for time lost over the past two pandemic years. We’re advising rural people to review their security, to help prevent crime and disruption.

“With prices of essential farm equipment such as tractors and quads rising fast and the cost of diesel soaring over the past year, there’s little doubt that criminals will be trying to steal from farms. We also know that essentials of rural living like heating oil tanks will only become more attractive to thieves as costs rise. A recent poll by NFU Mutual reveals that 89 per cent of respondents believe inflation will lead to an increase in rural crime.

“Crime in the countryside causes high levels of anxiety and disruption, with many farmers and rural homeowners feeling vulnerable due to their isolated location. The knowledge that determined thieves are scouring the countryside looking for targets, and returning to carry out night-time raids, leads to sleepless nights for many in remote areas.

“NFU Mutual is responding by helping those living and working in rural areas to put in place effective security measures and by continuing to provide major support to enable dedicated police resources to tackle crime.”