Key considerations for rural crime prevention on farms

With the year pushing on, and darker evenings on the horizon, farmers will be keeping an eye on securing their property from the threat of rural crime.

With this in mind, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has issued farmers with some key considerations and advice to mull over.

In a brief reminder on the matter to farmers, PSNI officers took to social media yesterday (Sunday, September 5) to say:

“Farm vehicles and machinery are crucial to any farm business and costly to replace.

“Watch our video for a few helpful tips to help you protect your livelihood,” the PSNI post added.

In terms of key advice, the PSNI video stresses the need to take a moment to ensure one’s machinery is secure.

The PSNI points to storing machinery, vehicles and other equipment in “secure alarmed buildings”, or alternatively securing equipment with heavy duty chains and padlocks to fixed points or other equipment when not in use, to make them harder to move.

Farmers are also advised to ensure their vehicles are locked when not in use and, as an extra deterrent, to remove key, batteries or distributor caps from vehicles not being used.

Turning from prevention to recovery, the PSNI rural crime prevention video urges rural dwellers to mark all equipment with at least two identification marks.

This way it is easier to identify, firstly for authorities, and also for rightful owners to claim if the property is recovered.

On a more high-tech level, the PSNI offers suggestions of using the Cesar electronic marking scheme for one’s high-value equipment, or alternatively electronic vehicle recovery systems such as ‘tracker’.

First off, Cesar is the UK’s Construction Equipment Security and Registration Scheme (CESAR). This uses datatag ID tech, both overt and covert, alongside registration on a secure database to electronically tag plant and machinery.

Similarly, electronic vehicle recovery systems can be run through GPS (Global Positioning System), GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications), VHF (Very High Frequency) or RF (Radio Frequency) to keep tabs on machines if taken.

Trackers can be either wired into the electrical systems of vehicles or battery-powered for property such as trailers.