Increase in rural crime in Northern Ireland

By Gary Adair

Theft of livestock and farming machinery in Northern Ireland increased by 15 per cent last year according to a new survey.

The National Farmers' Union Mutual Insurance Society (NFU Mutual) conducted a survey to assess the levels of rural crime in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. The results suggest a 15 per cent increase in rural crime, costing the Northern Ireland economy £3.9million. The most commonly stole items are high-value items such as livestock, tractors and farming tools. Separate figures released last year by the Department of Agriculture showed that around 9,000 cattle were reporting missing or stolen between 2010 to 2013.

Manager of NFU Mutual for Northern Ireland, Martin Malone, is calling vigilance in the fight against rural crime, and described the impact of such thefts as "devastating for businesses and families."