FARMERS are being urged to be extra vigilant to avoid becoming a victim of rural crime over the winter months.
As the clocks go back and the long dark evenings draw in, rural properties and agricultural businesses typically become prime targets for thieves who operate under the cover of darkness.
With the clocks going back on Sunday, October 30, signalling the end of British Summer Time, a leading insurance broker specialising in agriculture, tourism and hospitality and rural-based businesses, is providing advice to farmers to make their properties safe from any intruders.
Paul Graham, the Managing Director of H&H Insurance Brokers, said: “Sadly, the levels of rural crime remain incredibly high especially during the winter months.
“The cost of such crimes can be extremely high to agricultural businesses or farmers, and we want to spread the message that taking extra care to secure the farm at night will prevent thieves from succeeding in their quest to take items which don’t belong to them.
“We all know farmers are constantly busy but by taking these extra, small steps each day could save them a lot of money – and strife too.”
Some of the tips Paul recommends to farmers include:
- Install CCTV cameras, intruder alarms and lights around the farm to deter criminals, or help aid recovery of items;
- Lock all vehicles around the farm and do not leave keys in tractors, quad bikes and other agricultural vehicles;
- Store farm vehicles away in outbuildings;
- Store all tools, particularly chainsaws, welders and jet washers, away in outbuildings;
- Don’t leave valuables on display in vehicles;
- Don’t leave diesel, heating oil or fertilisers out in the open due to a sharp increase in thefts of these items;
- Close and lock gates to deter ‘drive-through thieves’;
- Get a neighbour to look out over your property, and vice versa;
- Use tracking devices and immobilisers on tractors and quad bikes to deter thieves;
- Ensure all items are covered by a comprehensive insurance policy.
Paul said: “Don’t get caught out this winter. Secure your farm and prepare for any eventuality as you never know who might be lurking in the darkness.
“Farmers work extremely hard for their livelihoods and it’s a shame that their belongings aren’t safe on their own land, but it’s extremely important that farmers take extra steps for that peace of mind.
“We always advise our agricultural customers, along with other businesses, on what insurance is best for their particular circumstance, so that if the worst does ever happen everything is covered and they can carry on what they do best with minimal disruption.”
Figures from the latest National Rural Crime Network Report revealed that the average financial impact of crime on rural businesses is £4,800.
Image: Paul Graham