In 2018 the cost of rural crime rose by 12.1%, a seven year high, causing losses of almost £50m. The 26% rise in stolen farm vehicles, including quad bikes, is the biggest cause of this overall increase. The theft of quad bikes has been on the rise for the past few years due to their good resale value and the fact that they are often not well secured; some are even left with the keys either in the ignition or hidden on the bike.
Thefts are becoming more purposeful, rather than opportunistic. Organised criminal gangs are stealing agricultural vehicles to break into village ATMs and exploiting keyless entry technology on luxury 4x4s. These kinds of rural crime affect the whole community and can add to rural isolation. Taking preventative measures can help ensure that your farm does not become a victim contributing to these rising statistics.
Farm Watch: Preventing Rural Crime through the Community
The Plant and Agricultural National Intelligence Unit (PANIU) is a specialised police unit who offer support and advice on crime prevention as well as providing training to officers to help investigations into thefts. Farm Watch has been set up to create a sense of community spirit and support among local farms and the police to help combat rural crimes. It is important that farmers are aware of the possible crimes that could occur and methods that can be taken to reduce the risk and fear.
Ten steps to take to ensure that your farm vehicles and equipment stay safe:
- Keep valuable equipment locked away inside secure buildings.
- Install security lighting.
- Use metal bars or grilles over windows.
- Use good quality locks, chains and padlocks, and keep doors and gates locked when not in use, even when on the premises.
- Use security and motion sensitive lighting.
- Avoid leaving machinery and vehicles in isolated locations.
- Check the perimeter for weak spots, especially where access from a road would be easy.
- Register your tools and equipment with serial numbers, markings and photos with somewhere like immobilise.com.
- Visibly mark all equipment so it is easily recognisable.
- Fit machinery and vehicles with a tracking device that provides an invisible fence breeching warning alarm system.
GPS Tracking for your Farm Vehicles and Equipment
TRAAKiT provide both wired and battery operated GPS tracking devices for farming equipment and vehicles. The covert trackers can be secured out of sight on your tractors, quad bikes, trailers and other equipment, and can be transferred easily between vehicles. Most importantly, invisible fences can be set up so that you are immediately notified if a tracked vehicle leaves the designated perimeter.
Keep your farming equipment safe with our latest tracking technology. Contact us for more information and a quote.