Is your farm safe and secure when you're away this summer?

Wales' Rural & Wildlife Police Crime Coordinator has produced a short video urging us all to think about security on our farms and businesses when we go away this summer
Wales Rural crime Officer

Wales' Rural & Wildlife Crime Police Coordinator, Rob Taylor writes:-

What is Op Homestead Cymru?

Several years ago we noticed a statistical rise in reported thefts in rural North Wales during the show season, as criminals took advantage of possible vacated farms. This isn’t just a North Wales issue, but across all of Wales.

Why are you pushing out this message to farmers ahead of the show season?

It is clear that rural criminals are aware of the importance to farmers of the show season and in particular the Royal Welsh Show, when farms can be vacant for several days. Criminals take advantage of this and target these farms for thefts and burglaries.

What are your top tips to farmers to keep their farm safe whilst at the Royal Welsh next week?

There are several simple measures that can reduce considerably your chances of being targeted by criminals.

  • Re-visit all of your security measures and check that they are in place and working.
  • Ensure that buildings are locked and that machinery within is also locked and secure.
  • Check that any signage you have is clearly visible for anyone visiting your farm, whether it is the warning of CCTV or other security measures, such as SMART water or vehicle trackers
  • Ensure that your CCTV is fully functional and that it will record any movement on your farm. Make sure that the CCTV lenses are clean and that they are covering the area you want them to. Cameras can move, due to strong winds or being struck by farm machinery.
  • Let your neighbours know you are away and when you will be back and maybe start a ‘Whats App’ group with your local community so you can update each other with any suspicious vehicles and with photographs, when safe to do so.
  • Lock gates that give access to your farm, whether it’s the driveway or via a field. Reverse one of your gate hinges if possible so they cant be lifted off.
  • If possible have someone stay over at your farm, so you have a presence.
  • Use timed lighting around the farm, whether its on movement or during a set period of time.
  • Think about the use of trail cameras, that trigger on movement and are cheap to buy and install.

Will rural policing teams be expecting more issues next week with farmers away from farms? What reassurance can you offer farmers?

We are aware of previous spikes in rural criminality during the show season, but these have fallen in recent years due to Operation Homestead Cymru. We, the police, know that we all have to be extra vigilant and patrols will continue of our rural areas, but we ask that farmers also play their part and follow the simple guide to better crime prevention during our Welsh rural show season.