The Police Service of Northern Ireland is committed to supporting rural communities, working with partner agencies, the Rural Crime Partnership, supporting victims and investigating rural crime.
We want to work with you to help prevent crime in rural areas. Follow our tips below to protect your property and stay safe.
1. Rural burglary
Remember to close and lock all windows and doors even if you are only going out for a few minutes.
Most callers to your home will be genuine, however if you are in any doubt simply ask for their ID and check the caller out.
Quick Check is a free telephone service, which is available 24 hours a day all year round in Northern Ireland. Just call 101 and ask for Quick Check.
Nature provides one of the best solutions to many garden crimes. With careful thought and planning you can reduce the risk of becoming a victim of garden crime, while at the same time creating an attractive garden.
- Alarms and CCTV
Fit alarms to storage and other sheds. Always display appropriate signage to deter criminals.
Remember, technology only adds to good security and vigilance. It does not replace it.
- Boundaries and lighting
Fencing, hedges and walls should be robust, well maintained and regularly checked. Find out about alarms and the latest technology, such as point-to-point electronic beams, to protect the perimeter of your property.
- Plant and vehicle crime
Secure or immobilise vehicles, plant, trailers and equipment when not in use. Remove valuable machinery from fields overnight and keep items of value such as quads and cattle trailers in a securely locked shed, out of sight.
- Sheds and outbuildings
Don’t make it easy for the thief, secure and alarm all sheds and outbuildings where possible.
- Livestock theft
Know your stock and maintain accurate records. Keep all stock secure within our boundary. Regularly check the fields where the stock are grazing; keep the hedges, fences and gates in good repair. Keep all sheds and stockyard gates closed and locked. Livestock identification is essential for proof of ownership. It can also serve as a deterrent to thieves. Take photographs or videos of valuable animals with the brand and/or ear tags clearly visible. Maintain accurate livestock records.
- Metal and cable theft
Scrap metal and goods can be valuable to sell on and are therefore vulnerable to theft. This can result in the targeting of metal such as gates, tools, machine parts, cable, etc. from fields and farm sheds and yards. Consider restricting access to your driveway to prevent unwelcome vehicles entering.
- Property and tool marking
Consider making valuable equipment and tools. Keep a record of all relevant serial numbers.
- Be vigilant
Good neighbours and vigilance are the most effective deterrent against crime. Remember that rural crime exists in many forms.
In all aspects of rural security, good neighbours and vigilance are the most effective deterrent against crime.
- Farm Watch Scheme
The key aim of farm watch is to promote vigilance and improve communication, within rural and farming communities and between rural communities and the police service.
More advice and information
If you would like more advice on preventing rural crime, please contact your local Crime Prevention Officer on 101.