FARMERS in the region are being urged to step up security following a rise in rural crime.
Figures released by insurer NFU Mutual showed the cost of crime on the UK's rural economy is up 5.2 per cent on 2012's figures, reaching £44.5 million last year.
The firm said 2013 was the worst year on record for livestock theft.
Its latest annual rural crime report identified a rise in cattle rustling and the theft of high-value agricultural equipment.
David Brookes, chairman of Staffordshire NFU, who also runs a farm in Uttoxeter, said: "The report highlights that crime is an issue in rural areas just as much as it is in urban areas.
"I've been a victim of theft. Someone got into a building next to the farmhouse at night and took some tools. Sometimes thieves view isolated farms as easy pickings.
"My advice would be make sure everything is as secure as possible.
"Any strange vehicles on farmland should be reported to the police."
The most common items targeted included tools, all-terrain vehicles and quad bikes.