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How to protect your farm

picture of a farmer talking to a police officer

As farms are often in isolated locations and have a variety of machinery, livestock and buildings on site, you should take care to protect these items from thieves.
Farm Buildings
If your farm buildings and barns contain equipment such as machinery, quad bikes, power tools and fuel, then please follow the below advice to help make your property more secure:
1. Lock any doors into these buildings. Use a good quality locks and padlocks that comply with British Standards.
2. If you have windows on your buildings, then again remember to shut and lock them, using good quality locks. Also add metal bars or grilles to them, or block them up.
3. Use security lights around the perimeter of your buildings that light up the area from dusk until dawn - it is less likely that a thief will strike somewhere if they can be seen.
4. Install an alarm on your buildings, and consider introducing CCTV onto your property.
For tips on how to protect your farm house, please visit our 'how to protect your home' section (link).
Outside
Taking care of your boundaries can help to prevent thieves from gaining access. Remove any access points that aren't used and try to establish just one entry and exit point. There are a variety of security systems that you can purchase to use at these points, such as intercoms, infrared or keypads. All gates should be padlocked, and invert and cap gate hinges to prevent them from being lifted off. Hedges can also work well as natural boundaries, particularly if they are thorny.
Machinery and Tools
- Lock tools and small machinery inside a secure building.
- You should treat any vehicles on your property in the same way as you would if they weren't - never leave keys in unattended vehicles. Make sure any doors are locked and secured.  Keep the keys in a safe place and out of view. Also consider using wheel clamps, ground anchors and hitch locks.
- Security mark your tools and machinery with your post code and property name. Keep any security numbers in a safe place, including the model, chassis and serial numbers. Forensic marking products are also available for you to use on machinery, and you can etch or stamp your property as well to provide visible signs that they are marked.
- You could also fit tracking devices to your machinery or a data tracking chip.
Diesel / Heating Oil
• Hide your oil tank so you're not a target for thieves in the first place -  if they can't see it, they won't know it's there.
• Plant shrubs or install fences to conceal your tank from view.
• Check your tank's oil levels on a regular basis.
• Consider using a dye in your diesel so it makes it less attractive to thieves.
• Ensure your tank is securely locked.
• Be extra vigilant of tankers or large vehicles close to your property. Note down any registration numbers of vehicles you think look suspicious and report them to Gwent Police by calling 101.
• Where possible, install security lighting that covers your tank.
• Consider moving it to an area or building where it is better protected.
• Talk to your supplier about buying devices to protect your tank. These include anti-tamper alarms, cap locking devices and oil level monitors.