2019 saw a 9% rise in rural crime and cost the United Kingdom £54 million, according to insurers NFU Mutual. It would seem this figure is set to rise, with an increase in livestock rustling and farm equipment theft being noted since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report by the Financial Times. Factors like the high value of items and site remoteness make many farms especially vulnerable to theft. Could agricultural CCTV systems, utilised in conjunction with other smart technologies, be the solution to safeguard farm interests?

Rural theft in numbers

The NFU Mutual report contained some additional startling figures around farm-related crimes in the UK. For instance, in 2019:

 The year’s figures mark an eight-year high in terms of value of stolen items

  •  Farm vehicle theft cost the UK £9.3 million
  • Quad and ATV theft rose to £3.1million
  •  Livestock theft also increased to a value of £3million
  •  Land Rover Defender theft rose to £2.1millio

Smarter criminals need smarter technology

According to the Guardian, the past two years have seen a sharp spike in thefts committed by organised crime syndicates who have seen the high value of the equipment and assets and a growing overseas market for these goods. While some criminals exhibit sophisticated methods, stock-related crimes are often quick and brutal, with animals sometimes slaughtered in the field and the meat removed in lorries. According to NFU Mutual, it is believed that this meat is sold on the black market.

The National Farmers’ Union has confirmed the rise in rural crimes and has voiced concern over the lack of police support. Many farms are in outlying areas, making them soft targets – especially against a backdrop of relatively slow police response times.

Agricultural CCTV systems, working with other smart technologies, are achieving highly-effective results for security in the farm context. Smarter Technologies’ smart farm technologies, for instance, give a whole-farm view with real-time monitoring, actionable alerts, and enhanced recoverability.

Securing your farm’s perimeter is easily achieved using an integrated system of agricultural CCTV and sensors, tags, and pressure pads. This makes for advanced geofencing capabilities, but these tags can also be attached to individual assets for a granular view of a farm’s most important assets. These can be used on tractors, ATVs, and sheds – but can also be used to monitor fuel levels, crops, tools, and fertiliser. This technology can also be used to monitor the status of electric fences, allowing farmers to instantly react to issues around functionality and fallen fences.  

Remoteness, vastness of distance, and battery life are not a concern with these technologies which are wireless, long-lasting, long-range, and low-cost. Monitoring ability of these solutions extends beyond security too. These tags and sensors can also detect pH changes, noxious gases, humidity and temperature changes to name a few – all of which endow farmers with greater levels of control.

Quick benefits of smart farm security and agricultural CCTV systems

  •  The potential to reduce insurance premiums
  •  Increased recoverability
  •  Farmers are empowered to react to a vast range of customisable data metrics
  • Personnel safety
  •  Asset safety

It’s time to get smarter about farm security

Smart technologies are more accessible than ever. The smart agricultural security solutions from Smarter Technologies are designed to adapt to the framework of your farm, down to individual animals, crops, and equipment. Our agricultural CCTV systems and smart farm solutions are a fundamental tool in protecting your interests and gearing your farm for the future. Contact Smarter Technologies to find out more.