Sussex Police have offered fresh advice to farmers and landowners on how to avoid rural burglaries.
In a message sent out by Sussex Farm Watch coordinator Philip Ball, farmers are warned that farms can offer an attractive target to thieves on the lookout for expensive machinery and equipment.
Sussex Farm Watch coordinator Philip Ball said: “When speaking to farmers and landowners about rural crime, I am often asked if it’s worth reporting crimes affecting the rural community.
“Let me reassure you that Sussex Police take all reports of crime seriously and if there is the potential to collect forensic evidence from the scene then someone will attend. Please do continue to report all crimes, no matter how small they seem as individual incidents may form part of a wider series of crimes that you are not aware of.”
PC Ball also offered 11 tips on what farmers can do to protect these properties from opportunistic thieves. They are:
1. Restrict access to your land and property with locked gates, using British Standard locks and high security closed-shackle padlocks.
2. Keep gates to farm yards closed whenever possible – criminals see unrestricted access as an invitation to enter.
3. A combination of good outside security lighting, CCTV and intruder alarms will deter most thieves but make sure they are regularly checked to ensure they will work when you need them.
4. Lock your windows and doors and remove keys from the locks keeping them out of sight.
5. Mark all valuable equipment, tools and other property with the name of your farm and the postcode – UV pens, engraving, stamping, tagging or forensic marking are all options to consider, but above all PLEASE make a note of all serial numbers along with details of make and model.
6. Display security marker boards to show you have security.
7. Where possible install fuel tanks within secure buildings or cage, keeping them locked and alarmed. Consider installing anti-siphon devices.
8. Keep computers in well-secured buildings and change passwords monthly.
9. Lay gravel rather than hard standing around farm buildings.
10. Park larger vehicles in front of access doors to prevent easy access.
11. Ensure you have adequate insurance cover.