Cases of agricultural crime have continued to fall in NI, with the latest figures for the 12 months to March 2021 sitting 24% lower than the year previous.

There were 291 crimes relating to farming reported to the PSNI during 2020/21, which is 94 cases fewer than in 2019/20.

The PSNI defines agricultural crime as burglary, robbery or theft where the victim is involved in an agricultural-based activity.

Police started keeping agricultural crime statistics in NI during 2010/11 and the most recent figures show that the annual total has fallen by 69% since then. In the first year of the records, 937 crimes related to farming were logged.

The latest figures show that only 14 agricultural crimes were recorded in September 2020, which is the lowest monthly figure since the data series began 10 years ago.

According to a new document prepared by the PSNI, lockdown restrictions over the past year had an impact on the number of burglary, robbery and theft offences across NI.

“The number of agricultural crimes for each month from April 2020 to March 2021 has tended to be lower than the equivalent months in 2019 and 2020. However, figures for May, June and August 2020 were higher,” the document states.