Whoever thought that crime was only confined to urban cities was wrong. With approximately 11 million people living in rural areas in the UK, issues such as rural burglary, theft, and vandalism are becoming a growing concern.
According to BBC, rural crime in England hit an eight-year high in 2019 costing businesses around £46m, with the most common crimes committed being theft of farm vehicles and livestock.
Rural burglaries do not just affect the direct victims but the entire economy as a whole since most primary industries such as farms, ranches, and forests are situated in rural areas.
Preventing such crimes is incredibly important in ensuring that the product that comes out of these areas is safe and of the best quality, all the while protecting precious livestock, crops, property, and equipment from damage and theft.
Let’s look at the reasons why burglars target rural areas and what can be done to prevent it from happening:
REASONS FOR RURAL BURGLARY
Crime is not restricted to a certain geographic location. There is going to be a risk of burglary and theft wherever there is money and stuff to steal.
Burglars scope out properties looking for the perfect target to hit and farms, ranches, and country houses are a lucrative target for them due to several reasons.
Burglars do what they do for money. What attracts them most to a property is the presence of expensive equipment that they can steal and exchange for quick cash.
Come to think of it, rural properties at times have even more valuable items than some urban properties. These include power tools, quad bikes, trailers, machinery and tractors, livestock, garden equipment, fuel, equestrian equipment, bicycles, and solar panels.
These are just the items a burglar would usually find on a farm; country houses have their own share of valuables. Typical items of value include money, jewellery, and portable electronics such as laptops and gaming consoles.
Generally speaking, burglars prefer stealing items that are valuable, small, and portable so as not to attract attention while taking them away. However, the way that these rural houses and farms are built gives them somewhat of an advantage to quietly sneak out even the heavier items. More on that in a bit.
Ease of access
The act of unlawfully entering a property with the intent of causing damage and harm is known as “breaking-in”. It is called so for the obvious reason of the intruder trying to force their way inside, most likely by breaking something.
The easier it is to break-in, the more lucrative a target becomes for the burglar. It uses up less time and effort on their part giving them more time to focus on items to steal.
Rural properties such as farms and ranches are usually constructed over a large area with access restricted via a fence and gate, which can both be easily broken if the right security measures are not taken.
Additionally, people living in the countryside have a habit of leaving their doors and windows open and unlocked, as do quite a few city folks surprisingly, giving the burglars ease of access into their property.
Secluded properties in remote locations are a favourite among burglars. Why? The same devious reason why most crimes take place in dark streets and alleys. Fewer people around mean less chance of attracting attention and subsequently getting caught.
Houses and farms in rural areas are built pretty far from each other with either a lot of greenery or huge patches of land in between. Neighbours usually mind their own business and it’s lights out earlier than is the custom in urban settings.
Burglars hate to run into people while breaking-in because it obviously causes complications and potentially ruins their plans. The remote location of rural properties makes them an ideal target for burglaries.
Also, since everything is so far away from each other, naturally the police stations and local authorities are also situated at a distance. In case of a break-in, it takes longer for the police to arrive at the scene than it normally would in the city giving the burglars enough time to run away.
How secure you’ve made your property is a huge determining factor in whether burglars would target it or not. They scope the property for the kind of security measures you’ve taken and stay away from ones that are heavily secured.
Even though security systems are becoming more common with each passing day, there’s still a long way to go in convincing every home, farm, and business owner to invest in one.
Rural properties are sprawled over acres of land with just a simple gate and lock securing the entire area. That is not a viable and effective safety measure and is sure to put the property itself and its owners in some serious trouble.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY FROM RURAL BURGLARY
With rural burglaries increasing at an alarming rate over the years, there are several ways to help curb the issue and protect your property from thieves and intruders.
Here’s what you can do:
Run a risk assessment
The first thing that you must do is run a risk assessment of your property. Since farms and ranches are spread over a large area, it is best to assess each area to calculate the level of associated risk.
There might be certain areas that carry a high risk, whereas others might be lower and safer in comparison. These include all points of entry including the main, side, back, small, and large doors, gates, and windows.
Keep equipment safe
Your money and equipment are what burglars are after so it just makes sense to keep them safe and protected. These include all heavy machinery, large and small equipment, and other valuables.
Rule number one is to keep your valuables away from prying eyes. Obviously, at times it isn’t possible such as when you’re using the machinery for farm work. But you must always make it a habit to lock away all farm equipment, from the large tractors to the small handy tools, in a secure place when not in use.
Reinforce the perimeter
One of the many reasons that rural properties are such an attractive target for burglars is because of their open and unsecured boundary walls.
Farms generally have a fence around their perimeter that indicates where the property begins and ends and is usually the only form of security keeping intruders away. Most are pretty flimsy that can be easily lifted or broken, making them not a very effective security measure.
Installing additional fences with thick, prickly hedges can help keep unauthorized access at bay. If you want to kick the security level up a notch, you can also consider installing an electric fence.
To prevent vehicles from entering your land, it is recommended to build ditches around the perimeter so that intruders know to keep themselves and their vehicles away from your property.
Switch to anti-snap locks
The first place that burglars look to gain unauthorized entry is through the doors and windows which is why all property owners must make it a habit to keep them locked at all times. However, the quality and type of locks play a crucial role in the level of security they provide.
Lock-snapping is a very simple technique used by burglars to “snap” the lock into two and easily break-in. The good news is that this technique doesn’t work on all locks, and the bad news is that the majority of the locks installed on various properties are the ones that it does work on. If you use the standard cylinder locks to protect your property, you must make the switch to anti-snap locks right away.
At times, even the presence of a secure and sturdy lock is enough to deter burglars not wanting to waste time and effort on trying to pry it open, and possibly getting caught in the process.
Invest in a sturdy safe
Investing in a safe will not just protect your valuables from theft but also disasters such as fires and floods.
Security safes provide an effective hiding spot for your valuables such as money, jewellery, guns, important documents, and small but valuable tools and equipment that even if the burglars find, they won’t be able to break into or move.
Fire and water-resistant safes are especially beneficial for rural areas that are susceptible to heavy rains and flooding. Also, since there’s always the risk of fires in farms and ranches due to the nature of material and equipment found in them, it is ideal to invest in one to protect valuables from getting burned down.
For added security, you must invest in a good safe that is concealed and can’t be physically moved. You can have it professionally fixed to the floor, wall, or inside a cupboard or wardrobe.
Illuminate the area
Burglars love the dark because it allows them to sneak in without getting noticed, and since farms are spread over a huge area, there are bound to be certain places engulfed in the dark.
During the risk assessment, notice any such areas that might serve intruders and burglars and have them well-illuminated. To make it more efficient, you can install smart lights that use motion detectors to turn on as soon as they detect movement in the area.
It is also vital for homes and businesses in rural areas to have their addresses made visible and clearly marked to help law enforcement agencies such as the police and ambulances to easily find their way to your property.
Get a guard dog
Dogs are man’s best friend. They are loving creatures that provide not just affection but also safety and security.
The oldest form of a burglar alarm, dogs are found on almost all rural homes, farms, and businesses, and all for the right reasons. They scare away potential intruders with just a bark bringing the intrusion to the owner’s attention immediately.
Two of the best guard dogs for rural properties include the British bull-mastiff – enough to scare burglars away with their frightening appearance, and the German shepherd – intelligent creatures that resemble a wolf.
Install a visual burglar alarm
To beef up the effectiveness of your property, it is a great idea to install burglar alarms, preferably ones with motion sensors.
Placed at key points throughout the property, the alarm makes a noise when triggered, usually accompanied by flashing lights, which is enough to get people’s attention and scare away the intruders. With professional monitoring services, they can also be set up to notify the police.
Burglar alarms not just help with keeping burglars at bay but also deter other intruders such as predators trying to attack your valuable livestock. Placing motion detector alarms near the farm animals will alert you as soon as any suspicious being tries to enter the area, be it human or unwanted animals.
Put the area under CCTV surveillance
It is very important to install a reliable security system to prevent rural burglaries and using CCTV cameras to deal with the rising crime rate is one of the most effective security measures you can take.
They work using cameras that record footage, and monitors that display it in real-time. Placed in the right place and position, these cameras can help keep an eye on every inch of your property.
To take things up a notch, you can opt for professional CCTV monitoring services where trained experts keep a check on your camera’s live footage to pick up any discrepancies and immediately inform you and the relevant authorities.
Rural properties such as farms and country houses are huge and keeping an eye on every single area can be quite challenging for the owners. Having CCTV cameras installed throughout the property can help monitor even remote areas of the farm and catch the perpetrators before they try to cause any damage.
CONTACT CALDER SECURITY
Calder Security provides a complete solution for all your security needs ranging from anti-snap locks to CCTV cameras.
We’ve been in the security industry for over 40 years and our experts can help you with a wide range of services including professional installation, maintenance, monitoring, and repair.
Our extensive experience enables us to provide you with the most ideal recommendations best suited to your property and individual needs.
- We are SSAIB approved installers: all of our intruder alarm installations comply with standards: PD6662: 2010, DD243 and BS8243 required to qualify for police assistance.
- Our systems meet the stringent requirements of BS4737 and European Standard EN50131.
- We only install high-quality systems including Texecom, Visonic, Scantronic, Risco, and Pyronics that we know and trust.
- Our monitoring stations operate via DualCom GPRS and BT Redcare GSM; the most secure intelligent alarm signalling services in the UK.
- Our experts can detect and fix issues that you may not even be aware of.
- We can repair most burglar alarms and CCTV systems, even if we haven’t installed them ourselves.
- We offer both analogue HD and IP camera systems and can advise on the best solution for your property.
- We are members of the Master Locksmith Association (MLA) since 1976 and can supply and work on a vast range of locking mechanisms.
- We are the official suppliers for leading lock brands including Chubb, Yale, Securikey, and Garrison.
- We are familiar with a wide range of safes, cash boxes, and strong boxes, and can also repair safes not supplied or installed by us.
- We are qualified and experienced specialist security system engineers; general electrical engineers cannot rival our knowledge of security systems.
Let’s work together to make your rural properties a safer place for you and your family. Contact us right away!