Rural thieves are putting down their bolt cutters and turning to their computers to steal from farmers, according to new statistics.
Criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in how they operate and new tactics include cloning tractor identities, stealing GPS computer systems and even using Google Earth to highlight weak points in the perimeter to steal livestock or machinery.
According to the latest figures released by NFU Mutual, the cost of rural crime to the UK economy reached £42.5m in 2015, up from £37.8m in 2014, but down from £44.5m in 2013.
Social media is fast becoming a valuable resource for sharing information about rural crime and helping catch criminals and return stolen goods.
Those living and working in rural areas are advised to regularly evaluate their security measures and remain vigilant. Any suspicious activity should be reported to the local police as well as community watch schemes.
Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.