The Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire, Angelique Foster, has welcomed the latest report from the NFU looking at rural crime, saying it raised awareness of the problems faced by rural communities.
The report, put together by NFU Mutual, the UK's leading rural insurer providing cover to three quarters of farms and rural businesses, also highlights the impact cybercrime has had on farming during the pandemic.
Speaking to Derbyshire Alert, the community messaging system for Derbyshire, Commissioner Foster said: "The report echoes what people across the county have been telling me: rural crime remains a problem. Crimes are committed by both organised gangs and opportunistic offenders. The cost, stress and inconvenience to those affected can be huge.
"I have been clear from the outset that tackling rural crime is a key priority for me. I look forward to meeting with the NFU and other partners to explore how we can work together to effectively tackle the problems in rural areas and provide appropriate support to victims.
"I will include strong practical measures in my forthcoming Police and Crime Plan and the experience and insight of these rural specialists will be a big help as I develop my ideas."
The report can be found on the NFU Mutual website and mentions that cybercrime is a growing danger faced by modern farmers, with NFU Mutual research showing that 62% of their customers have increased their internet use during the pandemic.
From phishing emails focusing on farm payments, to scam adverts for agricultural machinery, cyber criminals are creating tailored attacks to target farmers. According to the NFU, almost half (46%) of businesses have identified cyber security breaches or attacks in the past 12 months.
At the EMCRC, we recognise the dangers that the agriculture sector is facing, and we’re planning a series of webinars and events for farmers to join or attend to get top guidance from experts like the NFU and our partners. We’ll have more news on those very soon.
Report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. Forward suspicious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. Report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).