Member news: NFU Mutual publishes rural crime survey for members

Monday, 11 August 2014

UK ICMIF member and leading rural insurer NFU Mutual understands the needs of those who live and work in the countryside and has today published its most recent annual survey of rural crime and claims experiences across the organization’s 300 UK branch offices. NFU Mutual says it insures three quarters of farmers in the UK.

The latest findings were combined with a detailed analysis of countryside claims data during 2012 to provide members with a unique insight into developing trends, patterns of crime and best practice examples of crime prevention techniques within the UK’s rural communities.

Headline findings

  • Rural theft cost an estimated £42.3m in the UK during 2012 – down 19.7%1
  • Tractor theft fell 32% year-on-year and quad bike theft was down 17%2
  • There was a slight rise in livestock theft (+3%)2
  • Tools, quad bikes and fuel are the most commonly targeted items according to the nation-wide survey3
  • Community watch schemes (60%) and social media such as Twitter (47%) are the most widely used methods for communicating crime alerts and information within communities surveyed3

Most commonly targeted items

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 in which tools, all-terrain vehicles/quad bikes, oil/diesel and machinery featured prominently.

Members fighting back

One initiative launched by NFU Mutual in recent years to help members fight rural crime is the Country Crime Fighters Awards. This is a nationwide competition run by NFU Mutual to celebrate and reward fantastic examples of crime prevention taking place in the countryside. Whether it’s due to the rural economy, tighter security in towns, or the rise in oil, meat and scrap metal prices, people living in the countryside continue to experience crime. However, they are not taking this scourge lying down. Across the country new security initiatives are springing up involving rural communities.

The Country Crime Fighters Awards 2014 is engaging with people from all over the country as individuals nominate themselves for a regional award. Following successful nomination, regional winners will compete for a place in the final and be invited to attend the awards ceremony in London with the chance to be crowned national winner of the Country Crime Fighters Awards 2014.

1 Estimates for the overall cost of rural crime based on NFU Mutual claims experience as insurer of c70% of rural market. Comparisons against 2011 figures. (Overall cost of rural crime in 2011 estimated at £52.7m).

2 Based on overall cost of NFU Mutual claims 2012 vs 2011

3 Based on survey of 220 NFU Mutual agencies conducted in July 2013.