FARMERS have revealed a list of items most wanted by criminals in the Cheshire countryside.
An investigation from NFU Mutual insurance company, backed by Cheshire Constabulary, has underlined the problems facing the farming community.
Quad-bikes, tractors and power tools represent the top three stolen items claimed for by victims.
Also on the list are vehicles, trailers, fuel, scrap metal, lawnmowers, tools, horse tack and livestock.
This week, farms in Mickle Trafford and Guilden Sutton were hit by thieves, with a land rover and a tractor among a long list of valuable items.
In Dodleston, scrap metal was taken during the early hours of Monday.
There has been a rise in thefts from farms across rural Cheshire committed, according to police, by gangs travelling into the county from neighbouring areas including Merseyside, North Wales and the West Midlands.
In January and February this year, farms in Tarporley, Cotebrook, Utkinton, Kelsall, Malpas and Nomansheath all reported trailer thefts.
Insp Phil Hodgson, who leads the Western Rural Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “The list of property that has been stolen has correlation with the items that we receive reports of and clearly there is a lucrative market for these types of equipment.
“I see this report as an affirmation of what the police and farming community already know and I see offences against farming communities as being a priority. This serves as a reminder that we need to work together to tackle rural crime.”
Farmers also confirmed that increasing security on their farms was the number one priority in tackling the rise in farming thefts and that those crimes being committed were planned rather than opportunist.
Insp Hodgson added: “I am pleased that the farming community recognise that they need to help themselves by increasing security at their premises as I have lost count of the times that valuable pieces of equipment are reported stolen with no identification markings or tracker devices attached to them.”