As crime rates go down in some parts of the country, crime in rural areas has escalated and as well as thefts we explore the ways to protect the different areas of your farm.
In a letter to Defra secretary George Eustice, the National Rural Crime Network (NRCN) pointed out that criminals may be taking advantage of diverted police attention over lockdown due to a surge in poaching and livestock theft amongst farmers.
As crime rates go down in some parts of the country, crime in rural areas has escalated and as well as thefts, there has also been a marked surge in fly-tipping attributed in part to the temporary closure of waste recycling centres. As the cost of removing the waste is directly payable by the landowner, this can have major repercussions for agricultural workers already stretched and working around the clock amidst the current crisis.
Alongside all of this, sheep worrying has become a serious concern amongst farmers due to an increase in dog walkers taking to the countryside for their daily walks, without respecting the Countryside Code.
We take a look at what you can do to protect the different areas of your farm against rural crime during these testing times.
Ensure to remain vigilant in protecting yourself against a recent rise in cybercrime, avoiding clicking on suspicious links or giving away sensitive information to unreliable sources.
Buy good quality locks for your doors and windows and keep these locked when possible. If you notice any suspicious activity, ensure to alert the police and neighbours. If you’re not already a member of a Farm Watch scheme, this is worth looking into in order to protect against rural crime as a community.
Keep a detailed inventory of the contents and livestock contained by your farm buildings and purchase heavy-duty steel padlocks to keep contents secure. Keep security devices such as CCTV and alarms visible to further deter criminals.
Store your farm fleet in buildings where possible when not in use and never leave the keys in the engine of an unattended vehicle. Mark every vehicle with your house number and postcode or your Business Identifier number.
Farm machinery and equipment
When not in use, store all machinery and equipment in secure buildings. As with your vehicles, remember to mark these with your house number and postcode or your Business Identifier number.
Keeping your livestock secure from thieves can be particularly difficult for those that graze in fields away from your main building. To keep your livestock safe, ensure to conduct regular checks on them and keep the surrounding barriers in good condition. Make sure your livestock are tagged and ensure you have photographs of them with these tags in plain sight.
If you have any concerns regarding your existing farm insurance or want to make adjustments to your policy to account for increased risk, please get in touch.