The cost of rural crime in the north east rose by 12% in 2013, costing the regional economy an estimated £840,000, up from £750,000 in 2012.
The figures are part of a UK-wide survey by NFU Mutual. The leading rural insurer’s annual Rural Crime Survey shows the nationwide cost of rural crime totalled an estimated £44.5m in 2013 – a rise of 5.2%.
The most common items targeted by thieves in the region over the last year were quad bikes, metal and horse transport and equipment.
More than half of staff interviewed from hundreds of NFU Mutual offices in rural communities around the UK also said they’d seen customers suffer repeated crimes or had high-value items stolen.
Although high-value thefts may be planned and highly organised, the number of stolen garden tools and ornaments also indicates opportunist thieves.