THE cost of rural crime in Oxfordshire dropped by £320,000 last year.
Figures released yesterday by insurance company NFU Mutual showed there was a 32 per cent decrease in the value of goods stolen, down from £1 million to £680,000.
The figures stand in contrast to the national statistics, which show rural crime cost £44.5m across the UK last year, a rise of 5.2 per cent.
Group secretary of the Vale and Wallingford branch of the National Farmers Union, Andrew Forsyth, above,said there were two reasons behind the decrease in the county.
He said: “The first reason is people are taking more care and putting more preventative measures in place.
“The second is the hard work of the police, who have been absolutely fantastic.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld was elected two years ago on a promise to reduce rural crime.
He said: “I am delighted the NFU figures show there has been a large reduction in rural crime in Oxfordshire and I will continue to prioritise rural crime in the Thames Valley to help reduce the figures even further. In financial, commercial loss and intimidation terms rural crime is a serious crime but it is now being dealt with seriously and real progress is being made.”
Mr Stansfeld promised that the police would attend every rural crime reported.
Thames Valley Police yesterday said they were unable to say whether Mr Stansfeld had made good of this claim.
According to the survey the most common items targeted by thieves in Oxfordshire over the last 12 months were tools, quad bikes and garden equipment.
Tony Carter, of Millets Farm in Frilford, said: “As far as a drop in crime it depends what sort of crime you’re talking about.
“We still have problems with hare coursers and sometimes there’s not an awful lot you can do about it.
“Farms are very big and if people come in and cut your barbed wire it’s hard to stop them, you can’t have a 24-hour guard.
“But the police do their best and sometimes they’ve sent the helicopter up after coursers.
“Some level of crime will always exist, it’s about managing it and taking steps to reduce it.”
Mr Forsyth said there were a number of ways people could cut rural crime further.
He said: “It’s about vigilance. If people see something suspicious they should call the police because it may be the missing piece of a jigsaw officers need to crack a case.”
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
11:20am Monday 28th July 2014
What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.
Our top stories
11:10am Monday 22nd December 2014
A LORRY containing egg boxes has caught fire on the A40 near Witney.
9:00am Monday 22nd December 2014
THERE is no longer anywhere cheap to live in Oxford, leaving average earners priced out of the market house prices up to 19 times the media salary, new figures show.
UPDATE: Queues along Abingdon Road as Westgate shopping centre car park fills up with Christmas shoppers
4:35pm Monday 22nd December 2014
A RUSH of shoppers to the Westgate Shopping Centre has caused traffic to queue down Abingdon Road in Oxford.
1:19pm Monday 22nd December 2014
THE A4130 is partially blocked in both directions by a car crash between Didcot and Brightwell-cum-Sotwell.
12:10pm Monday 22nd December 2014
PEOPLE in Oxfordshire with cancer and rare diseases could get advanced diagnosis and treatment under a new genetics project.
6:00am Tuesday 9th December 2014
December is Advent Calendar time and we have a special new interactive graphic for you each and every day until Christmas Eve. I've chosen the best 24 pictures of 2014 and I'll be unveiling one a day - so what is behind's today's door?