Police advise farmers to report all criminal activity

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Farmers are being asked to report every crime to help police build a countywide picture of criminal activity and target offenders.

A Sussex Police spokesperson said: “Often when talking to farmers and landowners about rural crime they tell me that it is not worth reporting rural crime as the police are not interested in it and in any case they rarely visit to investigate.

Let me assure you that Sussex Police take rural crime very seriously

“Let me assure you that Sussex Police take rural crime very seriously and will always visit the scene of a crime if there is potential for forensic evidence to be collected.

“I ask that you report every incident, large or small, so that police can make an informed decision - it may be that another similar crime has occurred in the local vicinity around the same time.

“Often CCTV evidence is captured somewhere and quite frequently it contains details not only of people but also of vehicles used in crimes. This then helps police to link crimes and prosecute offenders.”

Protect your farm

Farms can offer an attractive target for thieves on the lookout for expensive machinery and equipment as well as the sort of valuables found in any home. Some ideas to secure your farm include:

- Restrict access to your land and property with locked gates, using British Standard locks and high security closed-shackle padlocks.

- Keep gates to farm yards closed whenever possible – criminals see unrestricted access as an invitation to enter.

- A combination of good outside security lighting, CCTV and intruder alarms will deter most thieves but make sure they are regularly checked to ensure they will work when you need them.

- Lock your windows and doors, and remove keys from the locks keeping them out of sight.

- Mark all valuable equipment, tools and other property with the name of your farm and the postcode – UV pens, engraving, stamping, tagging or forensic marking are all options to consider.

- Consider joining your local Farm Watch scheme and display security marker boards to show you have security.

- Where possible install fuel tanks within secure buildings or cage, keeping them locked and alarmed. Consider installing anti-siphon devices.

- Keep computers in well-secured buildings and change passwords on a monthly basis.

- Lay gravel rather than hard standing around farm buildings.

- Park larger vehicles in front of access doors to prevent easy access.

- Ensure you have adequate insurance cover.