Rural crime reaches 8 year high in the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic

Since last year, rural crime has increased by 9%, costing the agricultural community £54m. This is partially down to organised gangs targeting farm machinery*, including ATVs & GPS systems; at McClarrons alone we have seen an 11% increase in claims relating to this throughout the pandemic. Terry Poulter, leading class underwriter for e-trade & motor at MS Amlin, explains: “The increase in agricultural theft is due to farms being more isolated, leaving farmers exposed and an easier target to any other person, however farmers are now willing to use smart keys and trackers to protect their machinery, leaving it difficult for thieves. The police are also cooperating with farmers and are now working as a partnership to tackle crime on farms.” 

During lockdown, there has also been a 9% increase in livestock theft, costing £3m. Organised gangs are thought to also be the main culprits of this, taking large numbers of animals and selling them to make a profit, as well as slaughtering and butchering in farmers’ fields.**

As farmers are working around the clock to produce the nation with key supplies and with the start of harvest upon us, thieves are using the latest technology, including drones, to watch farmers days before they make the theft, looking at where farmers keep keys for machinery, how to access secure buildings and how often they check livestock. This makes it extremely easy for the thieves to make their final move, leaving the farmers with a loss of goods, time and money.*

Throughout these difficult times, it is important that farmers remain vigilant against crime. Follow our 6 steps to help protect your farm, machinery and livestock, here.

Should the worst happen, our dedicated team will support you in the event of a claim, we will manage settlement negotiations, liaise with third parties and insurers, and provide you with steps to take in the immediate aftermath of a loss.

If you would like a complimentary review of your insurances or would like to discuss cover of your farm assets, you can contact our Farm Team on 01653 609152 or by emailing farm@mcclarroninsurance.com.

Sources

*https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-53641209

**https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-53648668

***https://www.insuranceage.co.uk/insurer/7520661/video-fleet-crime-in-the-agricultural-space

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