Shooting organisations are calling for shooters to be extra vigilant after new figures from insurance company NFU Mutual last week revealed that rural crime has increased substantially.

Recent research has also shown that tackling fly-tipping alone costs landowners £47million per year, while agricultural machinery thefts are soaring.

NFU Mutual’s annual farm crime report, based on its own claims, showed farm machinery thefts in England had risen by 41% last year.

It also revealed that the rise in oil prices has led to a 30% increase in red diesel thefts.

“Vehicles and equipment used by shoots are particularly vulnerable to rural thieves because the nature of shoots means staff are not about for much of the time,” NFU Mutual’s Tim Price told Shooting Times.

Mr Price added: “To lower the risk of theft, we recommend shoots to keep vehicles such as tractors, trailers and quad bikes locked up and out of sight from opportunist thieves cruising country roads looking for easy targets. Rising levels of metal thefts also make it worth considering siting equipment such as bird feeders where they can’t easily be seen from roads or footpaths.”

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