How to protect your farm against rural crime

Today’s farmers have many roles to fulfil in their daily duties, one of which is enhancing their farms’ security. To a criminal, every farm is a sweet shop of high value equipment that appeals to thieves. According to statistics, rural crime cost an estimated £39.2m in the UK during 20161. To avoid your farm becoming a target, make sure you are doing the most you can to prevent your valuable items being stolen.

What’s at risk on your farm?


You might think that locking tractors and trucks and storing them in a garage is all you can do when it comes to keeping them safe, but there is more you can consider, such as:

  • Immobilisers
  • Practical anti-theft devices like steering and ram locks or a dead man’s handle
  • Chains and locks on fixed points for quad bikes and ATV’s
  • Keeping keys in a safe place, ensuring they aren’t visible from doors and windows etc.


Farming relies upon valuable equipment in day to day operations; pressure washers, welders, generators and pumps for example aren’t cheap. Keep all machinery in your most secure locations and use strong locks to protect the buildings they are stored in. Inner lock ups inside locked buildings can act as a further deterrent. Don’t leave anything in open yards or a location that makes them an easy target.


Make sure your buildings are locked with hardened steel padlocks so they are resistant to cutting. Wherever possible, alarm buildings and set up Passive InfraRed sensors (PIRs) with security lighting around the building. Fitting lights and sirens can be an ideal way of alarming a remote building in isolated areas. These devices can cause the thief to leave a building quickly, as well as alerting you.


If you can, make sure you secure the perimeter around your buildings and the yard where possible to enhance security. Mature hedges around the farm and blocking field entrances can help with this, as can securing entrances with security gates. Make it difficult for criminals to gain entry, so time is spent trying to overcome your defences. The longer they spend trying to tackle these, the greater the chance is of the activity being discovered as it happens. If a thief gets through your defences, CCTV and security lighting could help deter them from going any further. But, if criminals succeed in removing your property, the footage can make it easier for the authorities to identify them when used as evidence.

Keep your farm safe

Unfortunately thefts do happen on a regular basis.1 Keep a register with photographs and descriptions of livestock, tools, equipment, vehicles and any other valuables. You can also contact the Police on 101 or your local Police and Community Safety Partnership (PCSPs) for crime prevention advice and to report suspicious activity.2 Prevention is the key to protecting your farm.

1 farminguk.com/National-Rural-Crime-Survey-launched-as-rural-areas-deemed-soft-targets-for-criminals
2 nidirect.gov.uk/keeping-your-farm-secure