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Rural crime prevention guides


Farm buildings: Rural crime prevention advice

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Reduce the risk in six steps:

  1. Store all of your property indoors and keep your doors and windows locked.
  2. Fit British Standard locks with strong locking bars to doors and windows. If padlocks are used make sure they are robust
  3. Upgrade your storage to reflect the value of your property.
  4. Install sensor controlled ‘dusk till dawn’ security lights.
  5. Consider CCTV as additional security for vulnerable areas.
  6. Consider an audible and monitored intruder alarm system.

Mark your property

Deter thieves - make sure your property is clearly marked CREMARK and similar property marking systems are available to buy from Nottinghamshire Police’s Pre Crime Unit. To request more information call 101 ext 800 3011.

Love it? Log it

All property, including vehicles should be photographed and recorded in an asset register. Love it, log it! www.immobilise.com

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Farm boundaries: Rural crime prevention advice

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Reduce the risk in six steps:

  1. Remove all gates and entrances that you no longer use. If possible establish a single entrance and exit.
  2. Invert and cap gate hinges so gates cannot be lifted off, use good padlocks with covers that cannot be cut off and ensure fixing bolts cannot be removed.
  3. Plant thorn hedges as natural boundaries.
  4. Dig ditches to restrict vehicle access.
  5. Consider using an entry control system- infra-red, intercom or key pad entry.
  6. Cattle grids should be removed and locked out of position when not in use.

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Farm machinery: Rural crime prevention advice

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Reduce the risk in six steps:

  1. If stored outside, keep vehicles in a well-lit location overnight, keep them locked at ALL times when not in use.
  2. Keep the keys with you or in a locked key safe.
  3. Consider using hitch locks and wheel clamps.
  4. Consider a tracking device or data tracking chip for high value items.
  5. Register valuable plant. Five items can be registered free with the national plant and equipment register www.ter-europe.org
  6. All property, including vehicles should be photographed and recorded in an asset register. Love it, log it! www.immobilise.com

Mark your property

Deter thieves - make sure your property is clearly marked CREMARK and similar property marking systems are available to buy from Nottinghamshire Police’s Pre-Crime Unit. To request more information call 101, extension 800 3011.

Nottinghamshire Alert

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Foil metal and diesel thieves: Rural crime prevention advice

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Reduce the risk in six steps:

  1. Store diesel in a secure fuel tank within a bund and use good quality locks.
  2. Carefully consider the siting of the tank and avoid isolated areas such as outlying buildings.
  3. For tanks sited close to an electricity supply, additional security in the form of lights, motion sensors or alarms should be considered.
  4. In high risk situations consider using a mobile bowser that can be stored in a secure place when not in use.
  5. Paint a recognisable design on low value metal items such as gates and take photos.
  6. Dispose of scrap metal regularly and legitimately and report any suspicious activity to the police.

Mark your property

Deter thieves- make sure your property is clearly marked CREMARK and similar property marking systems are available to buy from Nottinghamshire Police’s Pre Crime Unit. To request more information call 101 ext 800 3011.

Nottinghamshire Alert

Sign up for free advice and crime alerts at Nottinghamshire Alert.

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Foil farm intruders: Rural crime prevention advice

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Reduce the risk in six steps:

  1. Consider putting up signs aimed at poachers/illegal off-roaders warning that they will be prosecuted.
  2. Check the identity of all visitors and make sure they are accompanied wherever possible.
  3. Keep your land tidy and quickly remove any fly-tipped items so they do not encourage other to follow suit.
  4. Improve the visibility around vulnerable areas so fly-tippers are not hidden from view.
  5. Note down the vehicle registration and a description of any intruders.
  6. If you can do it safely, video record/photograph what is taking place- even using a mobile phone camera.
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Foil farm arsonists: Rural crime prevention advice

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Hay and fire safety

A serious fire on a farm can affect the financial stability of even the most well run business. 40% of businesses that suffer arson attacks never trade successfully again.

Farms are particularly vulnerable to arson, their isolated location, open boundaries, readily ignitable hay and straw stacks make them an easy target. While arson attacks on farms and small holdings may be difficult to eliminate, a number of simple precautions can substantially reduce the risk of attack.

A lighted cigarette butt thrown from a passing vehicle can mean the loss of whole fields of standing crops, while glass bottles left lying around in grass or woodland can cause fires of huge proportions during the warm dry weather as a result of the sun’s rays being concentrated and focused by the glass.

Hay and straw should be removed from fields as soon as possible after harvesting.

Assessing the risk

A simple quick survey around the farm will identify areas where an arsonist could strike.

Your survey may reveal the need to:

  • Provide, repair or replace damaged fencing or gates.
  • Install intruder sensors and security lighting maintain the security of out buildings
  • Replace or re-site security and warning notices
  • Maintain fire fighting equipment and check that it is in good order
  • Prepare a fire routine and action plan, make sure all farm workers know what to do.

Reduce the risk of fire

To help reduce the risk of fire, hay and straw should be stored:

  • Separate from other buildings, particularly those housing fuel, agrochemicals and machinery.
  • In stacks of reasonable size, spaced at least 10 metres apart.
  • Separate from livestock housing.
  • Petrol, diesel and other fuels should be stored in secure areas, storage tank outlets should be padlocked.
  • Fertilizers and pesticides should be kept under lock and key.
  • Refuse should be disposed of safely and on a regular basis.
  • Preventing fires in grassland and standing crops

Reduce the risk from passers-by

#The danger of fire during dry weather is self-evident, however, many fires occur in the spring and later summer due to carelessness by people passing by or even trespassing on farm land.

It is difficult to maintain secure boundaries when your land meets public roads and paths, for example, but there are a number of things that you can do to reduce the spread of fire on your land should a fire start. This also becomes important when harvesting near buildings or expensive farm machinery:

  • Keep farm machinery chaff free, serviced and in good condition.
  • Try and have a tractor with machinery free, to cut a fire break should the need arise.
  • Have a full water bowser or tank in close proximity when harvesting.
  • Regularly check and maintain open water supplies for fire fighting.
  • Remind farm workers of their need to be careful with cigarettes and matches while harvesting.

If fire breaks out

  • Call the Fire and Rescue Service on the 999 emergency number without delay.
  • Only attempt to fight the fire if it is safe to do so.
  • Send someone to meet and direct the Fire and Rescue Service to the fire.
  • Prepare to evacuate livestock should the fire spread.
  • Prepare to use farm machinery to assist the Fire and Rescue Service.

Advice on reducing the risk in six easy steps:

  1. Develop a fire safety strategy and make advance plans for dealing with fire emergencies.
  2. Remove hay and straw from fields as soon as possible after harvest.
  3. Store hay and straw separately from other buildings, especially those housing fuels, agrochemicals and machinery.
  4. Store hay and straw in reasonably sized stacks spaced at least 10 metres apart and well away from livestock buildings.
  5. Talk to your local fire service- make sure they know the water pressure available on the farm and how to gain access- especially if your postcode is shared with other farm/properties.
  6. Dispose of farm refuge regularly and safely.

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Advice guide - Securing your oil tank

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How to secure your oil tank

Theft of domestic heating and commercial diesel oil often increases when the price of crude oil rises. Thieves target fuel tanks at businesses, farms, transport depots and homes. They may use it for their own purposes or sell it on at a handsome profit.

While we are working hard to bring these criminals to justice, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from fuel theft. Oil is a valuable commodity, so it makes good sense to take precautions and invest a small amount of money, if you can, to prevent thieves targeting your tank.

Location of your oil tank

The position and appearance of the tank can have a significant effect on how difficult it is to target in the eyes of the thief. If the tank is close to your house, with one or more windows overlooking it, a thief may consider their chances of being seen too high. If the tank is close to a road, path, drive or alleyway, it is far easier to target. Hiding your tank behind a garage, shed or outbuilding is an option, but it can give a thief the advantage of working unseen.

Invest in quality padlocks

A thief will usually come equipped with tools to attack your tank so it’s worth investing in good quality locks. Close shackle padlocks are most effective as they offer most resistance to tools such as bolt croppers. If possible, padlocks should be shrouded to make bolt cropping of locks or brackets difficult for an offender.

Hide your oil - Consider camouflage

Surround your oil tank with tall plants if the area gets adequate sun. Leave a space of several feet between the tank and the bushes. Bushes like juniper, holly, lilac or boxwood provide width and height when fully grown as well as looking attractive. Use evergreen bushes for full coverage at all times of year.

  • Surround your oil tank with tall plants.
  • Install a trellis fence and cover it with hanging vines such as cucumber or trumpet vine. Place a gate on one side to allow access for oil refilling or repair.
  • Use prefabricated fence panels to construct a fence that goes around the entire oil tank.
  • Defensive planting is nature’s way of helping to reduce crime. Thieves will not want to force their way through or over a thorny hedge.

Fit oil level gauges and tank alarms

Remote electronic oil level gauges are now available. They set off an alarm if the oil level in the tank suddenly drops or falls below a quarter full. Devices that send an alert to your mobile phone are also available.

Security lighting

It is strongly advised that you install PIR (motion activated) lighting in the area if your tank. Static lighting can aid an offender in their crime, whereas lighting that goes on and off is likely to alert you or passers by to someone being outside, and is also likely to deter the offender.

Make some noise with gravel

Consider gravelling the access route to your tank, or around the tank. This will make noise when it is walked over. This could serve to alert you and deter a potential thief.

Walls and fencing

A wooden or metal fence, trellis or wall can give significant protection to the tank. A metal grill or cage with a lockable access point across the top or this wall or fence can further improve security.

'Defensive planting'

Planting thorny shrubs and bushes around your diesel oil tank provides an effective and decorative thief-proof barrier as thieves don’t want to force their way through or over a prickly hedge, as the smallest trace of blood or shred of ripped clothing could help police identify them.

The following plants can be effective - but remember you will still need access to fill the tank:

  • Pyracantha
  • Berberis Julianae
  • Mahonia Bealei – Winter Sun
  • Ulex Europaeus – Common Gorse
  • Hippanphae Rhamniodes – Sea Buckthorn
  • Berberis Ottawensis Superba
  • Berberis Stenophylla
  • Berberis Gagnepainii
  • Crataegus Monogyna – Common Hawthorn
  • Rosa Fruhlings Gold-Yellow
  • Rosa Rugosa Rubra Crimson
  • Rosa Blanc Double de Coubert

CCTV

The use of CCTV as a crime prevention and detection tool has grown immensely in recent years. However you must ensure that cameras don’t overlook your neighbours’ private property or focus solely on pavements or public roads.

For further information and advice

You can find more advice on preventing many types of crime on our crime prevention guides page.

You can also speak to our Crime Prevention Unit about protecting your property and reducing your chances of becoming a victim of crime, email crime.prevention@nottinghamshire.pnn.police.uk

See it? Report it

Remember that you - the public - are our eyes and ears in the fight against crime. If you spot any suspicious activity, please call Nottinghamshire Police to report your concerns.

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Advice guide - Securing your commercial vehicle

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Advice on securing your commercial vehicle

Follow these simple steps to keep your commercial vehicle secure.

  • Lock all doors and close all windows every time your vehicle in unattended, however briefly.
  • Always remove the ignition keys and never leave your vehicle unattended with the engine running.
  • Always keep your vehicle keys in a safe place, out of sight and away from windows and doors.
  • Consider fitting number plate security screws.
  • Fit your wheels with lockable wheel nuts. Protect the spare wheel from being stolen by fitting a spare wheel guard.
  • Don’t park in isolated areas to do paperwork of for a meal break. Park in car parks which are part of the police approved ‘Park Mark’ scheme.

Other security options for your vehicle

  • Invest in a professionally installed alarm.
  • Use a catalytic converter protection device or marking system
  • Invest in a tracking system to enable you to track the vehicles location.
  • Fit an immobiliser to prevent the vehicle from starting.
  • Install an On Board Diagnostic or Engine Control Unit protection device.
  • Consider installing an in-vehicle surveillance camera.
  • Use a pedal box to encase all pedals and prevent access.

These websites provide details of products that could help protect your vehicle:

  • Approved Thatcham alarm installers: www.thatcham.org
  • Catalytic converter marking systems: www.retainagroup.com
  • Products to enhance vehicle security: www.soldsecure.com

Securing your fleet of commercial vehicles

  • Give drivers training in security measures for their vehicle and the company’s premises.
  • Check drivers understand and use the security equipment fitted to their vehicle. The same goes for security equipment on your premises.
  • Use photo identification cards for drivers and keep signed photos of all your drivers for personal records.
  • Restrict knowledge about loads to only those who need to know.
  • The pre-loading of vehicles, normally for early morning departures, should be kept to an absolute minimum.
  • Make sure all drivers have access to some form of mobile communication device.
  • Keep in regular contact with drivers to identify/confirm routes, stops and estimates times of arrival.
  • Don’t allow drivers to give lifts, or to have unauthorised people in the vehicle.

Securing the contents of your commercial vehicle

  • Keep expensive equipment in a storage box that is fixed to the floor of the van.
  • Use notices which say that no valuable items are stored in the van overnight.
  • Mark all items with a visible marking system.
  • Take all your belongings with you when you leave your vehicle If you are unable to do this do not leave your items on display.
  • All vehicle equipment, whether you can remove it or not, should be permanently marked, in a visible place, with vehicles registration number.

Find more information and guides on our crime prevention advice page.

To speak to our Crime Prevention Unit about protecting your property and reducing your chances of becoming a victim of crime, email crime.prevention@nottinghamshire.pnn.police.uk

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