In the increasingly unequal and punitive society we live in, its no surprise to me that theft is percolating ever deeper into rural areas. This article tells us:

Britain’s rolling green pastures and country lanes have witnessed a spike in criminals targeting farms, new data shows.

Losses to British farmers from theft hit a seven-year high of £50m in 2018, according to rural insurer NFU Mutual.

A 26% rise in claims for stolen farm vehicles, such as tractors and quad-bikes, to £7.4m last year, was behind the overall increase.

Animal theft claims rose 3.7% to £2.5m in 2018, the company said.

As a result of the crimes, farmers are reporting increased levels of anxiety and isolation to NFU Mutual agents.

Tim Price, from the NFU Mutual, said: “Farmers and country people are suffering from high levels of anxiety due to repeated thefts by gangs who take advantage of farms’ isolated locations to steal machinery, raid tool stores and even butcher sheep in the fields.

“In a single generation, country people have seen rural crime change from the opportunist theft of a single lamb, to brazen heists of tractors worth over £100,000 and rustlers stealing hundreds of sheep,” Mr Price added.

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