Farmers urged to take action as rural crime soars

With rural crime on the rise, making sure your farm security is up to scratch has never been more important. 24 Networks and Security, which works with farmers nationwide to protect their property, offers some advice.

The past 12 months have seen a spike in rural crime, as thieves capitalise on fewer staff on-farm due to Covid-19. NFU Mutual recently warned of a spring surge in tractor GPS thefts as lockdown restrictions ease – with incidents reported in East Anglia, the Midlands and North West of England.

Similarly, in March the rural insurer reported that thieves were targeting newer, higher specification quad bikes, and earlier in the year it revealed that £2.3 million worth of farm animals were stolen from UK farms in 2020. Working dog thefts are also known to be a concern and many rural owners are changing their walking behaviour as a result, according to a recent survey by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation.

As this growth in rural crime hits all farming sectors, it is worth taking the time to consider your farm security – a few tweaks could reap significant rewards in terms of peace of mind and preventing financial losses.

CCTV and intruder alarms are a key deterrent and can offer valuable information for retrieving property if a theft does occur – yet choosing the correct system for your farm is essential.

Yorkshire-based 24 Networks and Security installs CCTV and alarms that can be managed remotely from a single app on a smartphone, tablet or PC, using Hikvision cameras that can be programmed to detect motion at particular times of day and even automatically swivel to track movement. Alerts are sent to the farmer’s smartphone if the motion sensor is triggered, so there’s no need to trawl through CCTV footage.

Wireless cameras can be installed to avoid the need for cables and even if cameras are placed miles away – in a barn for example – 24 Networks can install an internet bridge, making the camera systems ideal for rural use.

As well as offering security benefits, CCTV doubles up as a useful tool for calving and lambing sheds, allowing farmers to watch footage from their living room TV rather than physically checking on the animals.

24 Networks can advise on the design, installation and maintenance of security systems, offering a wide range of security equipment to suit various requirements and budgets.

Many farming clients seek help with improving security after a theft has taken place, but with rural crime at its highest level in nearly a decade, the company says it is worth taking preventative action rather than waiting until a crime has taken place.

For more information visit their website HERE.

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