THE COUNTY Show may have been a time for festivity but rural crime was never far away from some visitors’ minds.
Continuing demand for scrap metal and the country’s ongoing economic challenges mean that Staffordshire’s farms remain a target for thieves.
Quad bikes are one of the current quarries, as well as fuel and metal items such as manhole covers.
NFU spokesman Oliver Cartwright said: “Rural crime in Staffordshire continues to be a serious issue.
“We have had reports of fuel thefts mainly. Times are still financially tight for everyone.
“Rural areas can often be seen as soft targets; by their very nature they are remote. We advise farmers to make sure that gates and buildings are secure where possible and don’t leave keys in tractors.
But first and foremost report anything out of place to your local police officer.” The Country, Land and Business Association has called on the Government to ban cash payments for scrap metal in its Scrap the Cash campaign. The organisation has also warned landowners about the start of “flytipping season”.
Donna Tavernor, CLA West Midlands rural advisor, said: “People do not realise that the owners of the land where they have dumped their waste will have to remove it and often at considerable cost.
It is certainly not a victimless crime.
“We are asking everyone who has waste to dispose of it in a way that is legally and morally correct. We would also ask anyone who is a victim of fly-tipping or who sees it happening, to take down as much information as possible and report it to the police.”