Rural crime has been an ever-increasing issue for the farming community over the past few years. In this article we offer helpful advice about farm owners can improve security, deter thieves, and reduce crime.
Due to the remote locations of farms, criminals see these sites as easy pickings.
Farms are often situated miles away from the nearest police station. For a criminal, this spells one thing; opportunity.
Safeguard Systems have designed and installed a range of farm security systems, so we are well versed in the threats they face.
Expensive farm equipment and machinery can fetch a pretty penny on the black market.
Furthermore, criminals also target quad bikes, which are common in farms.
A recent article in Farmers Weekly highlights how thieves are now scoping out farms using drones. Where there is a will (and technology) there is a way, it would seem.
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Six ways to improve farm security
From a security point of view, there is a range of recommended systems and measures that can help deter and reduce the impact of crime.
In this article, we are focusing on six key ways to improve farm security.
1. Review your farm’s current security systems
Before considering an investment in security, you need to understand what you currently have in place and whether it is fit for purpose.
Put yourself in the shoes of a typical criminal.
How easy are you making it for a thief to gain entry to your land?
Do you have any damaged fences?
How many potential unprotected access points are there?
Do you deadlock your outbuildings overnight?
How about the hinges? Are they loose, rusting, and not up to the job?
Related reading: Farm security checklist
2. Effective CCTV and alarm systems
Securing your outbuildings is one thing. If an intruder manages to breach your perimeter, how can you deter them from carrying out their crimes?
Doors to buildings should have alarms.
CCTV cameras need to be able to provide surveillance of any vulnerable areas, and key access points.
If you are currently considering security cameras for you farm, find out more about the range of commercial CCTV systems we design and install.
Farms often have budget constraints. If you are in charge of a farm, Hikvision has a range of CCTV cameras perfectly suited to those watching the pennies.
For farms where security is paramount, and the criminals targeting them are sophisticated, Safeguard Systems also recommends three other CCTV manufacturers and brands.
3. Remote CCTV monitoring
Larger farms with onsite guards should consider CCTV monitoring as it can vastly reduce the costs of, and improve security.
In 24/7 remote CCTV monitoring services, CCTV cameras have sensors fitted. If the system is triggered an alarm signal is sent to your off-site team. The footage is viewed remotely, and if a threat is spotted, the relevant authorities are called.
CCTV monitoring related reading
Interested to learn more about CCTV monitoring?
Here are a couple of articles we have published on the topic.
4. Security lighting
Installing security lights around buildings and in yards can be an effective deterrent.
When triggered, the thief should know they are light on time (no pun intended) and should make a hasty retreat.
5. Extra measures to protect vehicles
Farm machinery and vehicles have a high resale value on the black market.
Forklift trucks, quad bikes, diggers, horseboxes, rotavators, tractors, and other machinery are all targeted by thieves.
Many of these are essential to the smooth running of a farm.
Here are some of the measures we recommend taking on a daily basis:
- Lock all vehicles and hide the keys
- If the vehicle is stored outside, fit steering locks
- Fit GPRS trackers
- Chain up machinery and tractors
Back in 2021, rural crime was a real issue, with criminals regularly targeting farms. Police established a new unit to target theft on farms and construction sites.
6. Perimeter security, protection and detection
A major reason thieves target farms is due to their vast perimeters. Lots of land owners leave their boundaries unsecured.
There are a number of ways to deal with this.
Perimeter fencing can act as the first line of defence and can deter thieves and intruders from entering your land.
Electronic perimeter protection and detection systems can alert security to an attempted break-in.
Geo-fencing, and perimeter beams can trigger the alarm.
Related reading: The different types of perimeter security
Rural crime report 2021
The latest rural crime report by the NFU stated in 2020, rural crime cost the United Kingdom over £43,000,000.
The below data highlights the effects on each reigon in the UK.
The figures are quite astonishing.
In fact, the team at Safeguard Systems have put together our own overview of the latest rural crime report.
Is now a good time to be thinking about securing your farm, assets, livestock, and premises?
Looking to secure your farm?
Find out more about our dedicated security systems for farms