Rural crime rates are increasing in the UK, as a new generation of thieves blend force with technical skill to target farms and country homes, costing the UK £44.5 million in 2017.
Theft of farm equipment and machinery, livestock-related crimes, fly-tipping, poaching, equine crime and fuel theft have resulted in the highest figures associated with rural crime since 2013; Hertfordshire alone witnessed an increase in agricultural crime of 131.7% last year.
When it comes to securing rural sites, many farmers still rely on outdated security measures, from digging earth banks to training protective animals. Those who invest in perimeter security often commit the error of basing the system on a viewpoint that does not correlate with that of the potential intruder.
All security should be planned from the outside looking in: taking in the site through the eyes of the potential perpetrator and considering where exactly they would be basing their assessment from. The saying ‘out of sight, out of mind’ is particularly pertinent when considering the most appropriate location for any high-value items on the farm.
Create Secure Areas
Most agricultural premises extend over an expansive area, making it virtually impossible to secure the entire farm. Security measures focused on specific areas within the farm are therefore recommended to create secure zones within the acreage.
Security starts with limiting the number of access points to a site, putting measures in place to control pedestrian and vehicular access. Site owners can create a heightened sense of security by keeping gates to secure areas locked and installing automatic gates that present an imposing barrier to entry.
Be wary of redundant gateways as they offer an ideal escape route for intruders; if a gate is no longer in use, temporary earth bunding should be installed to restrict access.
Perimeter fencing for agricultural sites should be capable of withstanding the challenges of the outdoor environment. Ensure posts, pales and panels are well maintained and able to resist harsh weather, corrosion and rot. A fence line with any signs of damage or instability indicates a clear weakness in the overall farm security.
When installing a post and wire boundary, invest in posts that provide a long service life, consistent with the wire of choice. Farmers are encouraged to opt for a Galfan-coated steel wire which represents the strongest and most corrosion-resistant material on the market.
When designing a security strategy for rural sites, implementing the 5 Ds of perimeter security offers an effective layered approach. There are different layers of perimeter protection, each with its own objective to prevent the advance of a potential intruder. The 5 Ds are: Deter, Detect, Deny, Delay and Defend. Find out more information on the 5 Ds here.
Security Rated fencing is highly effective in protecting high value assets and sites. Our LPS 1175-approved EuroGuard® Combi SR1 combines wooden slats and steel mesh to break lines of sight, while its unique panel-to-post fixings are extremely tough to penetrate.
Combat Fuel Theft
The rising price of oil and diesel has led to an upsurge in the number of fuel-related thefts from farms. On top of this, farmers also face the challenge of securing and storing potentially dangerous chemicals.
A practical and relatively inexpensive route to protecting these items, which are almost always likely to be stored on farm premises, is to create a mesh storage compound.
Our standard EuroGuard® Combi provides vandal-proof panel connections, anti-climb design and can be installed to replace farm sheds and outbuildings, keeping vehicles, tools and machinery safe from theft and damage.
Our Security Rated fencing range is also accredited by Secured by Design (SBD), the UK police initiative committed to ‘designing out crime’ through physical security and processes. Our SBD-approved products are ideal for a range of security applications, including hostile vehicle mitigation.