NFU Mutual Rural Crime Survey

As the UK’s leading rural insurer NFU Mutual understands the needs of those who live and work in the countryside and has established an annual survey of claims experiences within branch offices throughout the UK.

The latest findings were combined with a detailed analysis of countryside claims data during 2013 to provide members with a unique insight into developing trends and patterns of crime.

Headline findings

  1. Rural theft cost an estimated £44.5m in the UK during 2013 – up 5.2% 1
  2. Driven up by thefts of high-value tractors worth up to £80,000, thieves are also targeting lower value tractors not fitted with high-tech systems
  3. The cost of livestock theft rose 25% across the UK making 2013 one of the worst years on record 2
  4. Cambridgeshire bore the greatest cost of any UK county at an estimated £2.7 million
  5. Northern Ireland was the most seriously-affected part of the UK for livestock rustling
  6. A substantial rise in opportunist thefts of garden tools and ornaments 3
  7. The East Midlands, Northern Ireland, East Anglia and the North East experienced the largest year-on-year increases (38%, 15%, 12% and 12% respectively)
  8. Crime trends include chemicals such as fertilisers and pesticides 3
  9. The most commonly targeted items in the last twelve months have been fuel, tools and quad bikes 3
  10. Quad bikes heavily targeted with the cost of theft up 14% in 2013 2

Based on claims experience over the previous 12 months, NFU Mutual agencies were asked to rank the items which were most commonly targeted by thieves in their area. Results were totalled across the whole country to reveal a UK-wide top ten.

Item 2014 ranking 2013 ranking Change
Tools  1 1
ATV/quad bikes 2 2
Oil/diesel 3 3
Machinery 4 4
Garden equipment 5 5
Livestock 6  6
Tractors 7  9 ↑ 2
Trailers 8 10 ↑ 2
Vehicles 9 7 ↓ 2
     Equestrian equipment
New entry


1.  Estimates for the Overall cost of rural crime based on NFU Mutual claims experience as insurer of 73% of rural market. Comparisons against 2013 figures. (overall cost of rural crime in 2012 estimated at £42.3m).

2. Based on overall cost of NFU Mutual claims 2013 vs 2012.

3. Based on survey of 216 NFU Mutual agencies conducted in July 2014.




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