Recently there has been an upsurge in stolen farm machinery which is often used in organised crime or removed and transported to foreign countries for sale or parts.
What is agricultural crime?
Agricultural crime has no specific definition but is considered to include any statutory or common law offence which may be committed against people in agricultural communities, their lands, businesses and property.
Prevention – Working with Advanced Overwatch to tackle agricultural crime:
Crimes occurring in agricultural communities that our CCTV, Tracking or other security solutions help to prevent include:
- Theft (including aggravated theft committed by housebreaking or opening lockfast places) of farm vehicles, machinery, equipment, fuel and livestock;
- Vandalism and Malicious Mischief (The wilful or reckless destruction of the property belonging to another) and Wilful Fire-raising committed against businesses/farm property;
- Housebreaking in respect of residential properties;
- Worrying of Livestock, the most common of which is sheep worrying – Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 – s.1(1) and (6)
Agricultural Crime – the background and impact
The majority of agricultural crimes are clearly likely to occur within rural areas which account for the highest percentage of the land mass of Northern Ireland, Ireland and Scotland and nearly a fifth of the population are resident there.
Rural communities are disparate, and rural properties can be a number of miles from their nearest neighbour. As a result of this, these properties and the individuals who reside there can be particularly vulnerable to criminal activities.
The emotional impact on victims and communities
Whilst our rural communities are considered to be safe places in which to stay, work and visit, we recognise that the impact of crimes, including agricultural offences, on victims and rural communities are significant.
Many crimes may be relatively low value but the cumulative effect of these on a local community can have a serious impact on how safe residents feel. Our objective is to keep farm and rural communities safe with our range of solutions. This is particularly true in the instance of farms, where individuals will often have resided in that location for their whole life, and where lone working is a common occurrence. The negative consequences of criminal activities can compound feelings of isolation, and ultimately have a negative impact on how individuals go about their business activities and their personal lives once they have become a victim – we help to prevent this situation from occurring.
Most farms (particularly those with pedigree herds) will have built up their stock bloodlines over many years. Any significant loss of breeding stock has the potential to cause harm to many years of hard work and significant loss for the future. Farmers work with their animals on a daily basis, they know the individuals within their herd, and often have substantial levels of emotional attachment with them. Any harm caused to the animals is hugely distressing for them from an emotional perspective.
Many instances of livestock worrying are not reported, this is for a number of reasons. It can be due to the victim knowing the owners of the dog responsible, and fearing reprisals, or it can be because of the belief that reporting the crime will not lead to any satisfactory compensation. As a result of this, the official figures obtained on instances of livestock worrying are probably lower than the reality.
The financial cost of agricultural crime
The financial cost of agricultural crime such as the theft of vehicles, machinery, equipment and fuel is significant, and for the victims of these crimes it can go beyond the cost of simply replacing the property stolen.
Costs to agricultural businesses can include a loss of earnings due to thefts which prevent, or restrict, the carrying out of day to day work and trade.
There may be associated costs connected to the hiring of replacement vehicles, equipment and machinery. Further costs can be incurred due to repairs having to be carried out in respect of any property or security measures damaged as a result of thefts and vandalism.
The theft of livestock and of livestock worrying offences, the most common of which is sheep worrying, can also have a significant financial impact on victims due to the cost of replacing any animals killed or stolen, veterinary costs associated with the treatment of injured animals, and directly associated costs on the running of the business. E.g. Any abortions in in the herd caused by stress.
What can our security solutions help to prevent?
Theft (including aggravated theft and fraud) of farm vehicles, machinery, equipment, fuel and livestock.
Advanced Overwatch security solutions also assist in reducing:
- Distress/impact on victims;
- Cost of property stolen;
- Cost of replacement/hiring replacement equipment;
- Immediate impact on business as a result of theft and ongoing costs;
- Directly associated costs to business as a result of theft;- including business interruption and insurance increases.
Detection and reporting of rural and agricultural offences:
As agricultural crimes are likely to occur in remote or rural areas it may require detailed investigation by an Advanced Overwatch private investigator in order to detect and report cases to the police. We can provide:
- Remote access to monitor property, people and vehicles;
- 24/7 monitoring facility so that trained security professionals are always monitoring your farm, home or agricultural business.
- Private Investigation for ongoing rural crime
- ANPR – Automatic Number Plate Recognition solutions
- Internet access to rural and hard to reach areas along with a second line of communication where traditional phone lines and broadband is not available.
Serious and Organised rural and agricultural crime:
In some cases of agricultural crime we recognise that the accused may be associated with organised crime or may have obtained significant financial gain from their criminal endeavours. We put solutions in place to deter organised rural crime and track or recover stolen property.
Contact us now on: 02870 878077 – we offer a free, no obligation farm / rural / agricultural security review.
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