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Nearly half of farmers in East Midlands experienced one or more crimes last year, says National Farmers' Union

Nearly half of farmers and growers experienced one or more crimes last year.

This is the stark reality in the East Midlands, according to a rural crime survey by the National Farmers' Union's (NFU).

Farmers have seen a surge in fly-tipping, trespass, hare coursing and theft — costing them more than £7,600 on average.

Photo supplied by Lincolnshire Police.
Photo supplied by Lincolnshire Police.

Hundreds of farmers who took part in NFU’s survey said they wanted to see more police resources put into tackling the issues.

It also showed security at regional farm businesses had been beefed-up, with East Midlands farmers splashing out more than £5,500 on average on crime prevention and security.

As well as the usual lines of communication with police officers, 28% of farmers revealed they were turning to WhatsApp groups to report rural crime and pass on intelligence.

78% said they did not have regular contact with the police other than when reporting incidents.

James Peck, NFU East Midlands communications adviser, said: “Rural crime remains a blight on the countryside. We are concerned, but sadly not surprised, that so many of our members have been affected.

“However, the survey also shows the rural community is fighting back, introducing additional security measures to farms and working more closely with the police.

“Many members appreciate the response they receive from the police on rural crime but feel that rural teams are under-funded and under-resourced.

“We do work closely with the police in our area and have seen some excellent results from their respective rural crime teams and more than half, 55%, of those who took part in the survey said they did not experience any crime in 2020.”

In the East Midlands, more than 150 farmers and growers responded with nearly half (45%) experiencing one crime or more last year.

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