Tractors and crops targeted in rural crime wave
Date of alert:
Monday, 3 April 2023
Private security patrols are being used to protect crops and expensive farm equipment amid a rural crime wave in England and Wales, the BBC has learned.
Farmers have told the BBC that police rarely solve rural offences and are not doing enough to tackle organised crime.
Suspects are almost 25% more likely to be charged for crimes in urban areas than in the countryside, BBC analysis of data has found.
The Home Office says forces plan to tackle the "challenges" of rural crime.
Last year, Eveey Hunter's farm, in rural Hertfordshire, was devastated by a crime wave targeting machinery.
One night in late summer, GPS components costing £20,000 each were cut out of all three of her tractors, halting work for three weeks.
"We got back to the field at seven o'clock in the morning after leaving at one o'clock in the night and my brother said over the radio 'we won't be doing any farming today'," she says.
"We would have finished harvest the next day."
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