POLICE data reveals a slight decrease in the number of several types of crime reported on farms.

Information from a Freedom of Information Request to Dorset Police showed marginal drops in the rates of break-ins, arsons and thefts on farms compared to four years ago.

The figures showed that 211 break-ins on farms were reported to Dorset Police in the 2015/16 period. This was followed by drops to 193 instances in 2016/17 and 165 in 2017/18, although there was a slight increase to 180 in 2018/19.

There were also fewer reports of items being stolen from farms by the end of the time frames. There were 276 reports in 2015/16, which, despite rising to 299 in 2016/17, fell to 259 in 2017/18 with a slight rise to 262 in 2018/19.

Similarly, the number of arsons reported was also at a lower rate at the end of these time frames than at the start. A total of 9 were reported in 2015/16, and while the figures rose to 12 in 2016/17 and 13 in 2017/18, they dropped again to 7 in 2018/19.

However, the statistics showed a slight overall increase in the number of instances of criminal damage on farms over these time frames, with 120 reported instances in 2015/16, a rise to 185 in 2016/17, a drop to 133 in 2017/18 and then another rise to in 145 2018/19.

Ann Maidment, Director CLA South West, said: "It is pleasing to see that there has been a decrease in crime rates on farms, whilst this is not a significant decrease over the last four year period, it does highlight the good work that the Dorset Rural Crime Team has been doing and continues to do, in an effort to tackle rural crime.

"The CLA always encourages everyone to report all instances of crime to ensure that police resources are appropriately allocated during budgetary decisions."

Dorset Police Rural Crime Teams provides advice about how to protect a farm from criminal activity.

The police urge people to remain security conscious, keeping doors, windows and gates locked and alarms installed.

For more rural crime prevention advice, visit dorset.police.uk/help-advice-crime-prevention/rural-crime/