The farmers' fight against a rise in rural crime and how to get the most of your security services

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Statistics from the 2018 NFU Mutual annual Rural Crime Report highlight a rise in rural crime.

The National Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Society Limited (NFU Mutual) statistics from its annual Rural Crime Report 2018 indicate a significant rise in rural crime. The cost is estimated to have risen to £44.5m as criminals are forming gangs and targeting expensive farm machinery and livestock. With coverage across various news sources, including the BBC, how can agricultural and rural businesses protect themselves?

Source: BBC

To combat this rise in crime, farmers are resorting to what are considered ‘medieval’ defences. Tim Price, NFU Mutual’s rural affairs specialist, said: "This year we're seeing people bring in things like earth banks - the medieval fortifications last used a thousand years ago."

The East of England Co-op offer another solution — our team of security experts at Co-op Secure Response.

A helping hand

Co-op Secure Response is a security business from the East of England Co-op. After the success of developing security services to protect its own businesses, customers and colleagues across East Anglia, other local businesses and communities asked how the Co-op could help protect them too. 

Co-op Secure Response provides a range of security solutions across multiple sectors, with a focus on building a bespoke and cost-effective package for their clients. 

We provide tailored technology across a range of sectors, including rural teams and lone workers, utilising existing technologies in a way that best addresses our clients’ needs. Businesses can choose from a range of services that best suit them, including site guarding, GPS tracking, intruder alarms, gates and recovery when incidents do occur.

Co-op Secure Response have invested significantly in state-of-the-art technology, backed by a uniquely qualified team who have come to be well trusted by local authorities and agencies. 

Our fully accredited monitoring and alarm receiving centre (the ARC) monitors over 7,000 CCTV cameras, as well as GPS tracking devices, lone workers, alarms and gates. 

Monitored 24/7 by a team of friendly, highly skilled and qualified experts, who are proud to call East Anglia home, there is always someone there, focussed on protecting clients’ businesses. 

Services for agricultural and rural property

We know what it takes to protect rural property. We work with our clients to work out what’s important to them and never offer a ‘one size fits all’ solution. Here are some of our services that would best suit agricultural and rural property:

GPS tracking 

Our GPS tracking technology enables us to trace machinery and equipment across the globe, allowing us to alert you and the police to any suspicious movement. 

Gate and access monitoring

Our gate and access monitoring means only those you preauthorise have access to your property and if we see anyone unexpected we will contact you immediately to make you aware and work with you on what to do next. 

CCTV installation and monitoring

It’s impossible to be everywhere, all the time. But with the right security system, you don’t need to be. We understand that your business is important to you, that you understand it best and you want to protect it. CCTV deters anti-social and illegal behaviour. It also provides the evidence you need to react when situations arise. It’s a helpful tool for monitoring the needs of your staff or customers, capturing high definition images around the clock. 

Response Teams

As well as supplying guards on site, we’re able to offer fully qualified response drivers as part of our response services. They can respond to alarms or incidents that occur at your sites or business. You can trust them to respond quickly and efficiently to any problem that arises.

Mobile patrols

We can provide security guards that will watch out for you, your business and your people. 

Although we’re based in East Anglia, we provide services nationally. Local authorities and first responders work closely with us. From ad-hoc support to longer-term solutions, our qualified and experienced colleagues are experts at what they do — so you can be sure you are in safe hands.

You may not require guarding on a permanent basis, so we do offer an ad-hoc service. No matter the length of their contract our guarding staffs’ priority is the safety and security of your business. They are fully accredited and vetted to the appropriate level for their role.

Tips for keeping agricultural and rural property safe

As well as the services we provide, here’s some further advice to help protect agricultural and rural property: 

Security lighting in yards and on properties — Sensor activated lighting can provide a shock to those not expecting to suddenly be in a highlighted area 

Lock smaller farm equipment away — Lock smaller, desirable equipment out-of-sight in sheds or barns to make them more difficult to locate

Invest in CCTV — on-site CCTV deters anti-social and illegal behaviour. It also provides the evidence you need to react when situations arise. It’s a worthwhile tool for monitoring the needs of your staff or customers, capturing high definition images around the clock

Use larger equipment as a physical barrier — Protect barns, store rooms or sheds by parking larger farm equipment across access points, ensuring to remove keys, to form a physical barrier

Block un-used field access points — Use mounds of earth and/or concrete blocks to prevent un-wanted access to your land

Keep overgrown ditches clear and deep enough to remain a deterrent

Use GPS tracking technology — trace your machinery and equipment across the globe. This will alert you and the police to any suspicious movement

Use steering locks on farm equipment where possible

Monitor gates and access points — monitoring entrances and exits means only those you preauthorise have access to your property

Remove batteries from smaller farm equipment, such as quad bikes and mowers, when not in use