Landowners, farmers and rural businesses have been urged to review their security arrangements ahead of the clocks going back one hour on October 25.
The Country Landowners Association (CLA) cites figures showing rural crime cost £800million last year.
CLA East regional director Ben Underwood said: “We’ve recently seen figures from the National Rural Crime Survey suggesting rural crime cost £800million last year, so we know burglaries and thefts are a very real threat to people in the countryside.
“Rural areas present a very attractive target for thieves in the winter months, and they will be looking to target machinery, vehicles, fuel and even livestock.
“Being simply aware of the threat is not enough: you need to make it difficult for thieves. A simple, common sense review of existing security arrangements could make all the difference in whether you become a target for criminals or not.
“Small adjustments such as installing security lights and ensuring valuable equipment, vehicles and machinery are stored in secure buildings can seriously cut the chances of being a victim of crime.
“If you’re aware of criminal activity and any suspicious vehicle on your property the most important thing to do is to get the registration number and call 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress. With modern technology, the registration number is the key piece of information the Police require – but it needs to be reported to them immediately to be most effective.”
Quick security tips for farmers and landowners:
· Regularly review your security arrangements – just because you haven’t been the victim of crime, doesn’t mean this will always be the case;
· Ensure your first line of defence, your farm gate, is of the right quality and installed correctly – make it difficult for people to gain access to your property;
· Add security lighting that is activated by movement – also consider the installation of cameras in high-risk or exposed areas, such as around fuel tanks;
· Park vehicles in locked, secure buildings and ensure the keys are stored separately from them – for further piece of mind, steering locks can be placed on the ram of your tractor or teleporter, while the installation of a ground anchor means you can also chain them to the floor; and
· Think about the quality of locks you are using to secure your property – ensure what you are using is robust enough to deter criminals from attempting to access gates or buildings.