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Farm Businesses targeted by Organised Criminals

Every year rural crime costs millions of pounds and causes untold anxiety to farmers and rural businesses. In Shropshire it cost £1,412,222 (2019 statistics).

The impact of rural crime on farmers, businesses and the local communities shouldn’t be underestimated. Rural crime cost the UK £54 million in 2019, in Shropshire it was £1,412,222. It has financial consequences but farms are not just workplaces, they are the homes of farming families, this crime causes untold anxiety to farmers who can often be the victims of intimidation and threats of violence.

Rural Crime Prevention
Rural Crime Prevention

Increasing sophistication of organised criminals targeting agricultural plant, livestock, farm vehicles and machinery means we need to be creative in both detecting and preventing these crimes and working closely with the community to do this.

Farmers and rural businesses are being forced to come up with new ways of protecting property.  The use of CCTV cameras, smart water, strong lighting and security fences can help, as well as innovative technology such as installing infra-red beams which send alerts to mobile phones and geo-fencing, which triggers an alarm if tractors go beyond farm boundaries.

Practical Steps to Protect Your Farm:


The installation of CCTV cameras and dummy cameras can help you protect the most vulnerable areas of your farm

2. Tractors and farm machinery

Keep vehicles locked and out of sight and consider “layers of security” such as immobilisers, chip keys and CESAR security marking.

3. Quad bikes and ATVs

Fit GPS tracking devices, wheel clamps and locking posts. Remove the keys and park larger vehicles in front of access doors where possible.

4. Lighting

Criminals do not like to be seen! Check your premises for vulnerable areas and install good lighting to outbuildings, yards and houses to discourage unwelcome visitors.

5. Tools and farm equipment

Tools & farm equipment are very desirable. Take photos of tools, record serial numbers and consider Datatag security marking. Ensure tools are stored in lockable storage containers fixed to the ground or the wall.

6. Livestock

Where possible consider advanced marking systems using coded microdots and  always mark stock using a recommended method. Regularly check fields with livestock and keep fences, hedges and perimeters in good repair.

West Mercia Police Advice & Information