Insurer and Police Partnership Helps South West Tackle Rising Tide of Rural Crime

Insurer and Police Partnership Helps South West Tackle Rising Tide of Rural Crime

Farmers across the South West are being advised to review security measures in order to protect their property and help prevent rural crime. According to leading rural insurer NFU Mutual, crime in the countryside across the region currently costs £5.9 million a year.

NFU Mutual launched a partnership with Devon and Cornwall Police and ATVTrac at Agrifest South West on Wednesday, November 7 2018, with the introduction of Devon and Cornwall Police’s two new Rural Affairs Constables.

The specialist constables – PC Martin Beck based in Devon and PC Chris Collins in Cornwall – will be working with NFU Mutual and other partners across Devon and Cornwall to deliver a new Rural Affairs Strategy initiated by the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC).

The specialist Officers will work with partners to problem solve and, by assessing intelligence and investigating crimes, address rural crime more effectively. They can then ensure that call handlers are able to better understand the impact of issues in rural areas to improve how identified offences are investigated.

The public is encouraged to report rural crimes by calling or emailing 101.


Rual Crimes


At Agrifest, the constables offered advice and explained what they will be doing to help farmers and landowners protect themselves and their property, and how their focus is on the real issues the rural community faces.

Chris Roberts, South West Regional Manager of NFU Mutual, explained:

“Our figures show that rural crime in the South West rose by 5.3 per cent from 2016 to 2017, with the most commonly targeted items including quad bikes, ATVs and tools. Many of the items being stolen are in high demand amongst organised crime networks and this activity leads to long term anxiety for many farmers and rural communities.

“We find that dedicated police resourcing can make a positive impact and we welcome the introduction of Devon and Cornwall’s Rural Affairs Constables. We’ll be working in partnership, sharing information and expertise, to help farmers protect their property and the police to effectively tackle the rising tide of rural crime.”

Since 2010, NFU Mutual has invested over £1.2m in schemes to reduce crime in the countryside, and shares its claims statistics and expertise to help police respond to emerging trends and crime hot spots, and target those who pursue criminal activity in rural communities.

Inspector Paul Morgan of Devon and Cornwall Police, who is heading up the scheme, said:

“This partnership will ensure Devon and Cornwall Police is well placed to deliver the new NPCC Strategy and act upon learnings from the NFU Mutual rural crime report and the National Rural Crime Network survey of policing in rural areas.”

Asset tracking specialists ATVTrac also joined the NFU Mutual stand to offer people the chance to win a year’s tracker subscription worth £400.

ATVTrac is a discreet all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and asset tracker that monitors the movements of machinery in real-time, allowing users to view status and location history 24/7 with notification of unauthorised movements.

Agricultural and garden machinery dealer C R Willcocks also supported the partnership’s launch, providing a quad bike to allow ATVTrac to demonstrate their technology at Agrifest.



To find out more about NFU Mutual’s rural crime initiative, contact Phoebe Ridley on 01392 444404. To read the full NFU Mutual Rural Crime Report 2018, visit


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