Concern over rising rural crime level


NFU Mutual Report sees 41.4% increase in costs of rural crime costs in Wales

Ben Lake, Member of Parliament for Ceredigion, has expressed concerns following a recent report that showed a sharp rise in the cost of rural crime levels in Wales.

Estimates from NFU Mutual, which insures more than 75% of farms in the UK, showed the cost of thefts from rural homes, business and farms in Wales for 2017 stood at £1.9 million - an increase of 41.4% on costs incurred in 2016.

The increase in Wales compares poorly with a rise of 13.4% across the rest of the UK, which saw costs increase from £39.2 million in 2016, to £44.5 million in 2017. The most targeted items were quad bikes and all-terrain vehicles, followed by tools, machinery, and livestock.

Ben Lake MP, Plaid Cymru’s Westminster Spokesperson for Agriculture and Rural Affairs said:

“All too often I am contacted by farmers who have unfortunately been targeted by criminals – and these latest figures merely underline the fact that rural crime remains a devastating problem across Wales.”

“Police forces across the UK are under increasing pressure after years of reductions to the core funding received from the Home Office, and rural forces such as Dyfed Powys must also cope with the unique demand that policing a large geographic area entails.

“It is vital that our police forces are given appropriate and sufficient resources to tackle the demands of their respective areas. Such demands will differ from force area to force area, and in light of this recent report, I will reiterate my call for a review of the central police grant formula so as to ensure that the specific challenges of policing rural areas are adequately considered when funding is allocated. Greater funding should also be made available to support regional cooperation between different police forces, as rural thefts are often committed by groups operating across force boundaries.

“I would urge anyone that is a victim of rural crime to contact Dyfed Powys Police directly, or the newly launched ‘Rural Crime Reporting Line’ by ringing 0800 783 0137 or by visiting their website.”

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