Gangs raid farms on E-SCOOTERS: ‘Extremely-organised’ criminals are utilizing city two-wheelers to sneak onto land and steal £10,000 GPS from tractors
- Report reveals that insurance coverage claims for rural GPS theft almost doubled final yr
- The brand new examine confirmed whole variety of rural crime insurance coverage claims fell by 20%
- Investigators say that rural thieves have gotten increasingly more subtle
Gangs dubbed ‘rural wraiths’ are utilizing e-scooters to sneak on to farms and steal GPS programs, insurance coverage claims for which almost doubled final yr to £2.9 million, a rural insurer has stated.
Amid the coronavirus lockdowns final yr, NFU Mutual stated the whole variety of claims fell by 20 per cent to round £43.3 million within the UK.
However the price of claims linked to the theft of GPS programs and automobiles similar to quad bikes and ATVs remained at greater than £9 million, solely a 2 per cent drop on 2019.
This included claims for GPS programs which almost doubled to £2.9 million, up from £1.5 million in 2019.
DC Chris Piggott, from the Nationwide Automobile Crime Intelligence Service, a police unit funded by companies, stated: ‘Rural thieves have gotten increasingly more subtle to get spherical excessive ranges of safety on trendy farm equipment.
‘The sample we’re more and more seeing is of gangs who patiently watch farms from a distance to find the place costly tractor GPS package is saved.
Gangs dubbed ‘rural wraiths’ are utilizing e-scooters to sneak on to farms and steal GPS programs
‘They often return at evening to steal, and at the moment are utilizing silent electrical scooters to get into farmyards undetected and make off at excessive pace.
‘Thieves are additionally turning into even slicker stealing quad bikes – awaiting hours to hurry into farm yards and steal them when they’re left unattended for a couple of minutes.’
Canine assaults on livestock additionally rose sharply as visits to the countryside and pet possession elevated in the course of the pandemic, the insurer’s annual report on rural crime stated.
The primary quarter of 2021 noticed the worth of insurance coverage claims by farmers regarding assaults soar 50 per cent, having already risen 10 per cent to £1.3 million for the entire of final yr.
Livestock theft fell by 25 per cent to a price of £2.3 million, aside from within the South West the place it rose by a 3rd, from round £248,328 in 2019 to £345,825 in 2020.
The highest three counties most affected by rural crime by whole worth of insurance coverage claims had been Lincolnshire (£2.48m), Cambridgeshire (£2.02m) and Essex (£1.65m).
Insurance coverage claims for theft of GPS programs on farms almost doubled final yr to £2.9 million final yr regardless of total rural crime dropping by 20 per cent as a result of coronavirus lockdown
Rebecca Davidson, rural affairs specialist at NFU Mutual, stated: ‘Coronavirus restrictions, beefed-up safety on farms and simpler police rural crime groups offered a welcome fall in rural thefts final yr.
‘Whereas lockdown could have locked some criminals out of the countryside – rural crime hasn’t gone away.
‘Thieves at the moment are returning armed with new techniques and targets. Because the financial influence of the pandemic bites, we’re very involved that rural theft could escalate considerably.
‘Final yr noticed sharp rises in different crimes similar to canine assaults on livestock which precipitated appalling struggling to livestock and large nervousness for farmers and their households as they handled the aftermath.
‘Organised felony gangs additionally continued to focus on farmyards for high-value GPS programs, quad bikes and tractors with the price of agricultural car theft remaining at over £9 million – solely a 2 per cent drop in value from 2019.’
The corporate is investing £430,000 in rural safety schemes this yr.