by Lisa George
Rural Crime Prevention: How to keep property safe in a rural environment.
You may never have been a victim of crime and you may never be but the sad truth is that crime is on the rise in the rural environment. Road networks have improved meaning criminals may see this as an opportunity to get in and get away quickly from the scene. Often rural homes and businesses have valuable possessions on show which are hard to hide away such as machinery, horse boxes, livestock, and fuel. Wildlife crime is another cause for concern with criminals targeting wildlife for both financial gains and for sport.
Flytipping is also an issue in the rural environment with large-scale co-ordinated dumping now a regular occurrence with photos sent to the NFU showing it’s not just large domestic items such as washing machines, fridges, sofas, mattresses, and furniture, but also clinical waste and rubbish from construction and demolition. (Source: NFUOnline) This can cause huge issues for businesses, especially those in tourism.
There are many actions you can take to secure your rural home or business and prevent crime on your property.
Prevention is better than cure
Step back from the property and take a look at each area objectively, what can be done right away to stop potential crime?
We’ve put together some ideas for you to consider:
- If you store valuable machinery in an open yard, consider the use of CCTV and good security lighting. The lighting may act as a deterrent to thieves and will also aid the CCTV in identifying the perpetrator
- Use CCTV signage in clear, key positions around the area, this will alert thieves to the fact that CCTV operates in the area, acting as a potential deterrent.
- Security lighting is an essential feature in deterring criminals but will also act as a sign that an intruder may be on the premises.
- Fit lighting on outbuildings, sheds and any other areas that contain items of value.
- Photograph valuable items, are there any customisations or distinguishable areas on your property by doing this it will help police to recover any stolen goods should a burglary take place. Postcode marking, “selectamark” have a range of products to help.
- Intruder Alarms can both deter criminals and alert you or your security company to the fact that there is an unwanted person on your land.
- Think about simple things like ensuring you lock doors on outbuildings, large barns, and property.
- Install gates, physical and psychological barrier with locking systems, padlocks, and chains.
- Add harsh bushes to act as an extra layer of difficulty for thieves around open areas.
- Mark livestock so they are easily distinguishable (see advice from Farmers Weekly).