Rural Crime

In this section, you will find further information relating to Rural Crime

What is Rural Crime?

Rural crime affects those living, working or visiting rural areas of the UK and is any crime being committed in those rural areas.

It covers a wide range of crimes but includes theft of machinery, vehicles, heating oil, metal, diesel and pesticides. Thieves are known to target high-value agricultural equipment and many top-of-the-range stolen vehicles are smuggled out of the country, ending up in eastern Europe.

Communities in rural locations often lack the resource and infrastructure required to deal with the consequences of victimisation. Often people are socially isolated and lack dedicated local provision, but rural communities can be tight-knit meaning that the impact of a crime can spread further than in a urban area, heightening the fear of crime and although residents of rural locations are considerably less likely to be victims of crime, rural crime should not be viewed as a scaled down version of urban crime.

Rural crime | Crimestoppers (

Protecting your farm or business

How can you protect your property if a farm or business

 Protecting your property if a farm or business:

  • Look closely at the perimeter of your property, remove all gates and entrances that you no longer use.
  • Plant thorn hedges with deep ditches and bunds.
  • Change the layout if necessary to establish a single entrance and exit.
  • Invert and cap gate hinges so that gates cannot be lifted off or use good padlocks with covers so they cannot be cut off. Also, ensure all fixed bolts cannot be removed.
  • If a gate is not being used for a lengthy period, place a temporary obstruction in front of it so it cannot be opened or used for parking or a rubbish tip.
  • Use locking posts or temporary obstructions to control large openings to yards.
  • Cattle grids should be removable and locked out of position when not in use.
  • Install sensor controlled ‘dusk to dawn' security lights to alert you to visitors.
  • Install an infrared device at the inner gate which will sound an alarm to alert you to visitors.
  • Join a ‘Watch' scheme, obtain signs from the Police and place them on gates.
  • Place ' Beat the Bogus Caller ' signs saying “We do not buy from calling salespersons".
  • Add to indoor security by installing sensors with audible alarms. Display signs to show you have alarms installed.
  • Consider CCTV.
  • Store all your property indoors when not in use.
  • Keep all doors locked, except when the building or office is in use and there is someone present.
  • If your building shell is poor, use secondary secure storage such as a container.

Tractors, Agricultural machinery and Trailers

Nothing should be stored or kept in a visible location, except when in use. When vehicles or plant of any sort are kept outside, they should be kept locked and the keys kept in your possession or in a locked key cupboard.

Property marking

Diesel Tanks

Avoid the siting of storage tanks in isolated areas such as outlying buildings. A mobile bowser could be used instead and removed to a secure place when not in use. For tanks located close to an electricity supply there are additional options - better lighting, motion sensors and alarms - to act as further deterrents.

Caravan Storage

Caravans are very desirable and thieves will take extraordinary measures to steal them. There are existing industry standards which you should aspire to.

Rural Arson

  • Rural businesses have many sensitive potential arson locations.
  • Hay and straw should be removed from fields as soon as possible after harvesting.
  • Hay and straw should be stored:
    • separately from other buildings, particularly those housing fuels, agrochemicals and machinery
    • in stacks of reasonable size, spaced at least 10 metres apart, separately from livestock housing.
    • Petrol, diesel and other fuels should be stored in secure areas and storage tank outlets should be padlocked.
    • Fertilisers and pesticides should be kept under lock and key.
    • Refuse should be disposed of safely and on a regular basis.

The Health & Safety Executive can provide further advice on the storage and transportation of fertilisers, particularly ammonium nitrate.

Local Community

  • A strong sense of community still exists in rural locations.
  • Join a ‘Rural' or ‘Neighbourhood Watch Scheme' to share information.
  • Find out who the local Police contact is for your area.
  • If you have a suspicious caller at your business, record the vehicle registration number, descriptions of the persons and report this to the Police.

For more information on Rural Crime please visit Crimestoppers 

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