The cost of rural crime in Derbyshire rose by 6% in 2013 – costing the local economy an estimated £690,000 and up from £650,000 in 2012.
The figures are part of a UK-wide survey by NFU Mutual, which shows the nationwide cost of rural crime totalled an estimated £44.5m during the same period, a rise of 5.2%.
The new figure reverses a fall of 19% in 2012 and reveals the most common items targeted by thieves in Derbyshire were tools, quad bikes and machinery such as hay balers and ploughs.
More than half of staff of NFU Mutual staff also said they’d seen customers suffer repeat crimes or had high-value items stolen.
While high-value thefts may be planned and highly organised, the number of stolen garden tools and ornaments indicates opportunist thieves continue to target gardens and outbuildings.
“The cost of claims is increasing as a result of more high-value items being stolen,” said Fiona Traquair, an NFU Mutual Agent in Matlock.
“That’s why it’s important to stay vigilant and fight rural crime. Our experience with people who live and work in rural areas of Derbyshire clearly shows that theft is more than just a setback – it can be devastating for businesses and families.
“One of the rural community’s best assets is its people who can work together to safeguard the local neighbourhood.”