Crime is a problem wherever it’s being perpetrated. But when crime is being committed in the middle of a city centre, it poses an entirely different set of challenges to when it’s being committed in the countryside.
Rural crime is a significant problem in the UK. According to the Crime Stoppers, it cumulatively cost the UK £42.5 million in 2015. The worst hit areas were the East and Northeast of the country.
What is rural crime?
While rural crime might be defined as any crime that’s committed in the countryside, the term is most often used to refer to crimes affecting wildlife and farming, like poaching and sheep rustling. Unfortunately, these crimes tend to be committed on private land, which is sprawling, and therefore difficult to effectively monitor.
Fortunately, this is changing with the help of new technological tools. But there are also more traditional techniques that remain effective in deterring criminals.
Preventing rural crime
Let’s think about a few practical steps we might take to lower our risk of falling victim to rural crime.
Get a dog
A well-trained guard dog will be alert to would-be intruders and create a considerable noise when they detect them. You can think of them as a mobile burglar alarm, as well as a beloved family pet. Naturally only certain breeds of dog will be receptive to training and be able to provide the required level of intimidation.
Just a few years ago, a quality CCTV system would have required the investment in costly wiring and dedicated computers – and the quality of footage you’d be able to obtain wouldn’t be all that great, especially when you’re filming at night when most of the crimes that we’re talking about take place. Fortunately, technology has since come along in leaps and bounds. Not only is it wireless and high-quality, but it’s also affordable. You can check on your estate remotely and save the footage to a cloud-based storage solution.
Security lighting provides a similar deterrent to CCTV, especially if it’s triggered by motion. There’s nothing as likely to make a criminal think twice than being suddenly awash in brilliant white light.
Insure your farm
The easiest way to protect your farm is through specialised farm insurance. The insurers which provide this have particular experience in dealing with this kind of crime and may offer particular features that are of value to you.
Talk to your neighbours
Co-operating with other locals, perhaps as part of a ‘farm watch’ coalition, will help you to track patterns in crime and take precautionary measures. You never know – if you make the right friends, they might be able to help you out!