Information sent on behalf of Northamptonshire Police
FARMING INCIDENTS OF NOTE MONDAY 4TH APRIL 2020
COTTESBROOKE - TWO ELECTRIC FENCE ENERGISERS HAVE BEEN STOLEN FROM A LIVESTOCK FIELD.
BURTON LATIMER – DOG STOLEN FROM OPEN FARMYARD
LUDDINGTON – POSSIBLE HARE COURSING ACTIVITY
PITSFORD - PERSONS UNKNOWN HAVE GONE OVER A PADLOCKED, CHAINED GATE, WALKED ACROSS A FIELD AND REMOVED 2 BEEHIVES
FROM INSIDE A FIELD
Whether you run a business from your site, or use it to store plant and machinery when it’s not in use, good security is vital in preventing crime. To protect your site, think how a criminal might view your premises.
Criminals are skilled in identifying changes in the environment, particularly if they know the local area. Even if they have not set out to steal, any opportunities they come across could prompt them into action. It therefore makes sense to take a look at your property from the outside in and ask yourself how you’d get in if you were locked out.
You should also consider whether there are desirable items on display at your site which may attract criminals. If so, think about how you can reduce their visibility.
Securing rural sites
Across Northamptonshire, 32 per cent of residents are classed as living in rural areas. This is well above the national average of 17 per cent, with almost a third of our population living in and around rural towns.
The rural nature of the county makes isolated properties, stables, farm buildings, machinery, trailers and livestock vulnerable to crime unless reasonable steps are taken to keep them safe and secure.
Securing rural locations can be a challenge, but it is possible. By breaking a site down it’s easy to see where security can be improved.
Assessing your site
Breaking down the existing protective and risk elements on your site will help you identify where you’re doing well and what you can improve.
Start with the perimeter and work your way inwards. Consider:
• Is your site secure? Where is it insecure? Can you address perimeter security? If your site is not easy to secure for operational or location reasons, do what you can to secure the perimeter. Then look beyond the perimeter and address the internal security arrangements
• Plant thorny hedges and dig ditches alongside hedgerows to prevent vehicles from accessing the land at other points
• Keep your fences and hedges in a good state of repair and fill in any gaps
• Can your premises be seen well by other neighbours or is it in an isolated location? Isolated locations allow criminals more time to get in and take what they want, so consider how measures to delay and detect them getting in, and the response this would trigger
• Is it obvious to others when your premise is operational and when it is not?
The key to keeping a site safer is making it look operational even when it’s not. Ensure alarm systems are always set. Consider window coverings of
some description for offices etc. The use of internal timer switches for lamps or plug-in dusk to dawn lights may be appropriate in some buildings
• Do you have gates on your site? Are they closed and secured when not in use, if this is practicable during hours of operation?
• Remove all gates and entry points that aren’t used, to establish a single point of entrance and exit. If the site is a farm, consider putting a second inner gate at the private end of the farm entrance so the living accommodation is separate to the working farm
• Invert and cap gate hinges, so gates cannot be lifted and removed
• Bring gates as far forward as possible to reduce any recessed areas. Make sure gates are locked with either a mortice deadlock (if the gate is thick enough) or a decent hasp and staple secured with a closed shackle padlock
• Is your site alarmed? Does this extend to other storage facilities on site?
• What climbing aids are on site which could assist potential offenders? Remove or secure these so that they cannot be used by a potential offender
No single product can protect your site
Security involves using a range of methods to put criminals off in the first place or slow them down significantly to the point where they see the risks outweighing the benefits.
As part of your good security routine, make sure all your staff are aware of the security practices for each site. Ensure appropriate induction for new starters as well as ongoing training. Encourage staff to report anything suspicious to their supervisors, and ensure supervisors know what procedures to follow when this happens.
Constantly review security measures on-site and how each item is secured.
Alarms and CCTV
Between the two, alarms will usually have the bigger effect in deterring criminals. Having said that, where they are used in rural locations they must be linked up to some sort of response system should the alarm be activated.
This will involve the alarm being diverted to your mobile phone or even a central monitoring station via a police response. The alarm system should also be suitable for your site, ensuring all vulnerable areas within it are covered and so properly protected. A response system such as this cuts down the amount of time criminals have to commit crime on your site.
Sites where plant and machinery are stored and operate may benefit from the use of perimeter alarms, installed at access points to the land to alert owners of intruders. Consider also the benefits of using an intercom and keypad entry system to control a main entrance for visitors and legitimate site users who may need access in and out throughout the course of the working day.
Your local crime prevention officer will be happy to discuss and advise on alarms. If you decide to go ahead, obtain three quotes from firms registered
with either the National Security Inspectorate (www.nsi.org.uk) or Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (https://ssaib.org).
The National Independent CCTV Inspectorate has useful advice on CCTV (www.cctvinspectorate.org). Our guide to CCTV also has information you may find useful.
The police can only recommend products that have been attack tested and therefore come with the Secured by Design accreditation. The following two websites have a range of such products:
Understanding the legal situation
You have the right to keep your site secure but you must remember the following points:
• Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 (amended 1984). The act states that an occupier of a premise may owe a duty of care to a trespasser. Under this act certain security measures should not be implemented in certain areas if there is an obvious risk of harm, particularly under a certain height. Visible warning signage should also be displayed where it can easily be seen. The legislation does not extend to thorny plants because they are natural.
• CCTV and business. All businesses that have CCTV must register with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). Owners should be aware that under the Data Protection Act notification is a legal requirement for organisations processing and collecting CCTV images. Therefore it’s important that businesses that operate CCTV equipment notify the ICO, as failure to do so is a criminal offence. The following website contains all the relevant information for registering your business: www.ico.org.uk/for-organisation/register
Can security resources be shared?
If your business is located on a site where other similar businesses operate, consider how you can support and protect each other.
Sharing security resources, like splitting the cost of security guards for example, could work out to be a more cost-effective solution to any ongoing security problems.
In some parts of Northamptonshire, schemes like this have been set up with guidance and assistance from the local Crime Prevention Officer, local Safer Community Team.
If you think this is something that might work in your location, contact your local policing teams for further information on setting up and running a scheme.
The importance of insurance
Having contents insurance will take away the financial worry of replacing stolen goods. Many insurance companies offer reduced premiums for people with good security. Make sure you lock up and set any alarms and or other security equipment (CCTV etc.) as otherwise you may not be covered. Also ensure the security products you are using comply with your insurance company’s criteria.
To speak to our crime prevention team about protecting your site email