You can reduce the risk of your farm being attacked by criminals by making sure you’ve taken these simple steps:
- Be vigilant of who is visiting and be wary of suspicious behaviour on your land and near to it.
- Thieves often find they can steal without being seen so check the height of your boundary walls and hedges and ensure fences are no higher than 1m and trees trimmed from the ground up to 2m to give a good view from passing traffic.
- Get into the routine of checking that windows and doors to all buildings are closed and locked and use window limiters if windows are to be left open at night.
- Security lighting around the farm should be fit for purpose. Don’t light areas which are not overlooked as this gives the criminal light to work in with little chance of detection.
- Fit vandal resistant, ‘dusk to dawn’ sensored security lighting around the front of the property.
- All exit doors should be fitted with at least one five-lever mortise lock which is to BS 3621 standard. All accessible windows on the ground floor and upper floors accessible from flat roofs should be fitted with window locks and keys removed for security.
- Consider fitting security alarms and CCTV systems to protect your farm, equipment and vehicles. Use police approved companies who are members of NSI (National Security Inspectorate) www.nsi.org.uk or SSAIB (Security Systems & Alarm Inspection Board) www.ssaib.org.
When large amounts of inorganic nitrogenous fertiliser are being delivered to farmers and growers across the UK, anyone who handles or stores fertiliser should carefully manage its security to prevent theft.
- Carry out frequent stock checks and report any suspicious activity at or near your premises.
- Store fertiliser in an enclosed secure barn or cover it with a tarpaulin if stored in an open-sided barn.
- Immediately report any theft of fertiliser to the police.
- Store fertiliser in a place accessible to the public.
- Leave unattended bags of fertiliser in the field.
- Sell on ammonium nitrate fertiliser.
- Consider using CCTV to allow animals to be watched in barns or yards, which can be useful during busy times like lambing season.
- If livestock is stolen, ear tags will help police to identify stock.
- Freeze-branding, hot-branding or tattooing with your postcode can also help.
- Consider taking photographs of particularly valuable animals.
Four-wheel drive vehicles, trailers, caravans and quad bikes can all be a target for thieves. There are many anti-theft devices available to protect these such as alarms, immobilisers and tracking systems.
Trailers and horse boxes are particularly vulnerable. Where possible, secure them inside a garage or similar building.