Police warn criminals who target farmers

Police have reaffirmed their commitment to tackle criminals who target isolated rural areas.

Tuesday, 26th February 2019, 11:42 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th February 2019, 11:47 am
Superintendent Andy Huddlestone

Northumbria Police has issued a strong warning to crooks who target the farming industry and rural population for their agricultural machinery and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).

Superintendent Andy Huddleston is also the national police lead for agricultural machinery and vehicle thefts.

He said: “Nationally, we have seen a pattern emerge in how these sophisticated criminal groups operate and the types of premises they are targeting.

“We know many offenders see this type of crime as low risk with a high gain – and there are often a number of factors to this. We are talking about high-value machinery which is in demand both here and abroad, and it is often stored in yards and buildings away from dwellings where these groups feel they are less likely to be caught in the act.

“We see things differently – these crimes have a terrible impact on UK farming as they can ruin livelihoods.

“So, let me make it clear, if anyone is involved in organised and serious crime, we will pursue them and ultimately do everything in our power to bring them to justice.”

Activity to combat offences includes regular Checkpoint operations, which bring together a range of agencies on dedicated days of action, taking part in community meetings with rural partners, councils, the NFU, Foresty Commission and National Park, and the FarmWatch scheme.