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Farmers Warned of Livestock Rustling

01 September 2014

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UK - Recent figures that have shown a rise in rural crime in the UK have prompted calls for farmers to review their on-farm security.

The figures from insurance company NFU Mutual show that livestock theft in the UK rose by 25 per cent last year.

Now the head of the National Sheep Association Phil Stocker has warned farmers to protect their livestock and property.

Mr Stocker said: “It's vital that farmers do everything they can to protect their stock and property.

“Work with neighbours to keep each other informed about any suspicious activity you notice in your area – make use of the close community we have in farming.”

Police forces have also urged farmers to look out for unusual activity.

Chief Inspector Martin Sims of Sussex police told the NSA: “If you see or hear of anything suspicious, please don't be reluctant to call your police force. You can be our eyes and ears.”

The survey results come alongside a spate of arson attacks on straw stacks. More than £30,000 of straw was destroyed when 700 bales caught fire in Wrockwardine, Shropshire, earlier this month. Police forces have offered farmers advice on improving farm security.

Chief Inspector Sims warned farmers to store equipment and bales out of public view and away from roads.

“Keep things in your line of sight but out of sight of others”, he said.

PC Nick Willey, Force Wildlife Crime Officer for Lincolnshire Police, offers some reminders of best practice.

“Use strong gate posts, consider blocking up unused entrances to fields or yards and make sure you secure equipment stores when they are not in use,” PC Willey said.

Many farmers use CCTV to protect their property.

Christopher Jones of Farm CCTV, Shrewsbury, reports a rise in the number of CCTV security systems he is being asked to install.

Mr Jones said: “I would position the cameras so people can see them. They work as a deterrent.”


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