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News Report Page 10 of 19
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Cost of living crisis could trigger winter crime epidemic, warns NFU Mutual

AS the clocks go back on Sunday, 30 October 2022, NFU Mutual is urging farmers to increase security as darker winter nights enable criminals to raid the countryside unseen.

The leading rural insurer is concerned that the nights drawing in, combined with the deepening cost of living crisis, could trigger further increases in thefts from farms and rural properties. A recent poll by NFU Mutual found that 89% of respondents believed that inflation would lead to an increase in rural crime.

NFU Mutual claims for thefts reveal that farm vehicles, including:- tractors, quad bikes, all terrain vehicles (ATVs) pick-up trucks, and Land Rover Defenders, are all targets for rural thieves. This year trailers are also being stolen in large numbers.

Increases in the prices of diesel, heating oil, fertiliser and machinery are also making farms more attractive targets for criminals. Large-scale fuel theft is plaguing farms, with reports of tank raiders stealing over 1,000 litres in recent weeks.

Thieves are also continuing to steal expensive tractor Global Positioning Systems (GPS) which are used to manage field operations, from drilling and fertiliser application, to harvest.

High food prices could also lead to a resurgence of livestock rustling, making it vital for stock markings to be clear and stock regularly checked through winter months.

To help farmers protect their property, NFU Mutual has invested £430,000 in rural crime initiatives. Support includes funding an agricultural vehicle theft unit at the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS) which works directly with Police forces across the country to combat rural crime.

Rebecca Davidson, NFU Mutual Rural Affairs Specialist said:- "Pre-Covid, NFU Mutual would see farm theft costs increase in the last 3 months of the year when dark nights and bad weather provided cover for criminals to get on to farms unseen. This year we're very concerned that rising inflation and the energy crisis could be the catalyst for an epidemic of crime in the countryside. We're continuing to provide financial support for prevention initiatives because we know crime is a huge worry for farmers and their families. Knowing that criminals are watching farms like hawks to spot opportunities to steal causes high levels of anxiety and makes it difficult for farming families to live a normal life. Strong security measures do deter thieves but need regularly updating to remain effective as thieves are adept at finding ways to defeat them. As the clocks go back it's a good time to look at your farm from the perspective of a would-be thief and take action to put new measures in place if you spot weaknesses. Because every farm is different, each 1 needs a different approach, often combining physical security on gates and doors, electronic devices such as alarms, lights, immobilisers and trackers, and practical steps such as hiding valuable kit out of sight. Local farm watch groups and WhatsApp networks are also very useful to keep up to date with local crime trends."

New advice on protecting rural property to avoid becoming a victim of rural crime is available as the NFU Mutual's 2022 Rural Crime report online and the insurer's latest advice videos on the NFU Mutual's YouTube channel.

NFU Mutual Winter Farm Security Guide:-

  Lock outbuildings at night and carry out regular security checks during colder months.

  Close and lock yard gates at night to deter drive through thieves.

  Ensure security lighting, intruder alarms and cameras are working correctly.

  Don't leave vehicles and implements where they can be easily seen from near by roads by criminals searching for theft opportunities.

  Never leave keys in machines when not in use.

  Remove GPS systems where possible and lock them in a secure place overnight.

  Store diesel and heating oil in tanks away from the public gaze and consider a fuel tank alarm.

  Store fertiliser in a secure building.

  Keep portable tools such as chain saws, jet washers and welders in a secure locked 'cage.'

  Regularly review farm insurance to make sure everything is adequately covered as prices rise.

  Join a local farm watch group or WhatsApp network to keep updated about local rural crime trends and suspicious sightings.

  Mark tools, equipment and implements to deter thieves and aid recovery by Police.

  Use tracking devices, immobilisers and CESAR-marking on tractors and quadbikes to deter thieves.

  Use mechanical devices to anchor down quads.

  Ensure livestock makings are clear and regularly check stock numbers.

  'Know what you own' - record all makes, models, serial numbers and photograph kit to help Police investigate and aid an insurance claim.

  Ask neighbours to keep an eye out for suspicious activity and report them to Police.

Liverpool International Jazz Festival will return for a 10th Anniversary celebration in the City in 2023

THE Capstone Theatre on Shaw Street will play host to a jazz extravaganza from:- 23 February to 26 February 2023, and will feature award winning international artists spanning a range of genres from Indo jazz to Afro funk and classical.

Liverpool International Jazz Festival (LIJF) was established in 2013 by Liverpool Hope University, and in previous years has included performances from some of jazz music's leading lights. The emphasis of the festival is on contemporary instrumental jazz in a variety of styles with a focus on presenting work from an international selection of world class artists, taking audience members on a musical journey that traverses numerous genres and cross genres.

Kicking off the festival on the 23 February 2023 will be a special collaboration with Milap; the UK's leading Indian arts and culture company. With original music, new improvisations and a collective harmony and groove, the Milap Indo Jazz Club will bring together some of England's top Indian and Jazz musicians in a performance curated specially for LIJF 2023.

The show will be:- 'the foremost contemporary collaboration between Indian and Jazz music in England today' and is the result of 10 years of creativity between the professionals of Milap and the National Youth Jazz Collective.

  Milap Indo Jazz Club... On 24 February 2023, electronic fusion trio Devils of Moko will take the stage at LIJF. The group consists of Dominic J Marshall on piano and synth (Dominic J Marshall Trio, The Cinematic Orchestra), Mulele Matondo on bass (Kongo Dia Ntotila) and Sam Gardner on drums (Septabeat, Samadhi Quintet). Their music is a collective melting pot that captures all of their individual styles. With the Western musical structure of Mulele's grooving Congolese rhythms and sonic stories, Sam's explorations of electronic music, drum and bass and production and the soulful jazz melodies of Dominic's piano playing, the trio's music has an uplifting and soul busting sound.

  Devils of Moko... Luxembourg trio Dock In Absolute (DIA) will be flying in to Liverpool on the Saturday afternoon of the festival. Composed of Jean-Philippe Koch on piano, Arne Wiegand on bass and Victor Kraus on drums, their music is built around Koch's original compositions, fusing different styles from progressive jazz to classical and rock elements. The group brought its 1st album out in 2017, under the Label CAM JAZZ with a 2nd 1 following, in 2019, and a 3rd album planned for 2023. DIA has been named the:- "Export Artist of the Year 2017 and 2019"  by music:LX and are considered the most active band in Luxembourg. The band's latest album has been listed in Jazzit Magazine Awards "100 Greatest Albums of the Year."

  Dock In Absolut... Later on the Saturday, and presented by Milap, virtuoso British-Asian bass player Shez Raja will bring his high energy live show to the festival. Voted 1 of the:- 'hottest bass players in the world' by readers of Bass Player magazine, Shez Raja's unique 'Indojazzfunk' sound and global star collaborations with Mike Stern, Randy Brecker, Trilok Gurtu and Wayne Krantz has seen him perform at the likes of Ronnie Scott's, the Jazz Cafe and at major international festivals. Shez's set will also feature Tony Kofi; a British jazz multi instrumentalist born of Ghanaian parents, and a player of the:- alto, baritone, soprano, tenor saxophones and flute. Having cut his teeth in the 'Jazz Warriors' of the early 90's, Kofi has gone on to establish himself as an award winning musician, teacher and composer of some authority.

  Shez Raja... Closing the festival on Sunday night will be Norwegian saxophonist and composer Marius Neset, who has earned countless nominations and awards for his performances and recordings, including:- the Spellemannprisen in Norway, and an ECHO award in Germany. Downbeat magazine also listed him as the only European jazz musician in their list of:- '25 artists to watch' in 2017. Marius has performed with jazz musicians all over the world and has received composition commissions from the BBC. Marius has also worked with classical musicians such as:- Leif Ove Andsnes, Andreas Brantelid, Michala Petri, Ole Edvard Antonsen, Louisa Tuck, Ingrid Neset, and the Vertavo String Quartet.

  Marius Neset... The Liverpool International Jazz Festival runs from:- 23 February to 26 February 2023, at the Capstone Theatre. Tickets are on sale now via the Capstone Theatre website.


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