Steep rise in rural crime cost

Martin Malone, NFU Mutual Regional Manager in Northern Ireland
Martin Malone, NFU Mutual Regional Manager in Northern Ireland

Rural crime cost County Antrim over £805,000 last year, a rise of 43.9% from 2017, according to a report from NFU Mutual.

In its 2019 Rural Crime Report leading rural insurer NFU Mutual looks at the impact that crime is having on rural communities up and down the UK.

The items most commonly targeted by thieves across Northern Ireland over the last 12 months were ATVs/quads, livestock and trailers and horseboxes.

Martin Malone, NFU Mutual Regional Manager in Northern Ireland, said: “One of the most alarming findings from this year’s report is that fear of crime is changing life in the countryside. From constant reports of thefts and suspicious vehicles touring the countryside and rural criminals regularly staking out farms, country people feel they are under siege.

“The report further reveals that limited police resources and repeat attacks are the biggest fears for people in rural communities, with many forced to change the way they live and work as a result of rural crime.

“Our advice to people living and working in the countryside is to regularly evaluate your current security measures making improvements where necessary, remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the local police.”