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Save Our Countryside! Frightening new statistics emerge

The crime rate in rural areas has doubled as the number of petty, opportunistic thefts has risen dramatically. The first half of this year saw a doubling in the number of crimes in rural areas. There were nearly 508,000 reported crimes in the UK countryside between January – June 2011, and this is compared to 196,000 in the previous six months.

These figures show a large increase in opportunistic thefts from homes and rural businesses. A frightening statistic indicates that a countryside theft now occurs every 43 seconds - so much for the rural bliss portrayed in the 'Darling Buds of May'!

Thieves are increasingly targeting diesel and heating oil storage tanks, as well as scrap metal, machinery - even animals are not exempt: valuable livestock such as horses are now disappearing more frequently. The poor economic climate which we are currently experiencing is much to blame and this, coupled with the huge rises in the value of oil and metal, are the key drivers to the rise in rural crime.

The rural community is not immune to the tough economic environment and rising unemployment, coupled with spiralling commodity prices, has made petty theft a major temptation for the thieves. Good news however, is that the rural community has wised-up to the situation and are taking precautions against this fast rising crime. It seems the days of leaving doors unlocked in rural dwelling are now well and truly over – you may as well hang a sign on the door saying "Thieves Welcome".

However, there are precautions which can be taken to protect rural properties – including simple steps such as making sure no equipment or machinery is left laying around, not leaving properties (including barns and storage areas) unlocked, camouflaging fuel tanks and digging ditches along perimeters to stop the access of vehicles in which stolen loot may be removed. Talk to an electronic security provider – a few well placed CCTV cameras could save you a fortune.

Sadly, if all of this fails, you will need the comfort of knowing you have good insurance in place. You need professional advice, so go to a professional company. Westhill Insurance Services is an independent insurance company and so will shop around to find you the best possible deal. Their team of friendly staff will listen to you and ensure the insurance policy you have exactly meets your requirements – there is no point in spending money on insurance which will not give you the cover you need. Don't worry about raising any issues or concerns you may have, Westhill Insurance Services will be happy to help you ensure you are fully covered should your home, farm or business become the target of thieves.

Phrases such as 'rural retreat' and 'rural tranquillity' seem set to disappear from our language, but make it difficult for thieves and they will move on to other targets. By taking the right precautions – and this includes insurance - we can yet save our countryside!

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 2nd October, 2011