How rural and farming businesses can prevent crime and trespass
The British countryside can be idyllic and it’s a wonderful place to enjoy fresh air, bracing walks and traditional country pubs. But as we all know, it’s also a working environment and, despite its tranquil appearance, crime does happen there. We take a look at rural crime and how those working in the farming industry can prevent it.
The cost of rural crime
According to the National Rural Crime survey, the cost of crime to rural communities was £42.5 million in the last year alone. The survey also estimates that only 80% of the real cost of these crimes were covered in insurance claims. The range of crimes is extensive and includes the theft of livestock, machinery, vehicle, heating oil, metals, diesel and pesticides, illegal dumping, burglary, wildlife crime, and arson.
If you’re involved in a rural or a farming business, how can you protect yourself and your livelihood?
Deterrents can include a range of physical and visible elements as well as a common-sense approach to prevention:
- Erect sturdy fences and maintain both them and walls well
- Have a single point of entry and exit to your property
- Protect gates with quality padlocks and hinges
- Install CCTV and put up signs telling would-be thieves that it is installed on the premises
Install good quality security lights which work in tandem with your CCTV
- Photograph all equipment and record it in an asset register – be sure to include the serial, chassis and model number. Tools should be marked with your own details
- Ensure all outbuildings are secure, with solid doors and good quality locks – don’t forget window locks
- Protect small items such as power tools in a lockable shed or container inside a larger outbuilding
- Lock any fuel tanks at the cut-off valve point and make sure it’s located where it can’t be seen from the road
- Always close shed and barn doors when they are not in use
- Vehicles should be fitted with an immobiliser and a tracking device and never leave the keys in them when they are not in use
- Remove any unwanted metal from your site immediately – don’t leave it as a target for thieves
- Ensure livestock are secure by maintaining the perimeter of fields regularly and mark stock by tagging, freeze marking, micro-chipping them, nose printing, hoof marking or dye marking
- Keep firearms and ammunition under lock and key in accordance with your gun licence
Your local police force will have a rural crime prevention strategy in place with lots of helpful tips and information. However, if you would like an independent survey of your farm or rural business in order to identify potential areas of weakness, contact a member of our team. Our specialists can offer you advice about the best way to prevent crime happening.
Written by: Charlotte Peel on Thursday 01/12/2016