Farm Security

by PCSO Andy Smith
Published: Last Updated on

A farmer’s property is spread over many acres with stock and equipment often portable and easy to steal.

Reduce the risks

  • When possible, lock tools and small items of machinery inside a secure building.
  • To prevent the theft of batteries, tools and accessories, avoid leaving tractors and other farm implements in fields.
  • Keep valuable machinery away from public roads when not in use.
  • Consider making a secure cage or structure for smaller items which should be sited within a secure and alarmed building.
  • Record the make and serial number of power tools—an up-to-date inventory is vital.
  • Mark or stamp easily removed items with your postcode, followed by the first two letters of your farm’s name, or other identifying marks.


Petrol pumps should have locking devices and/or isolator switches and, where possible, they should be housed in a secure location. Use security devices such as alarms, immobilisers and tracking systems. Trailers, caravans and horseboxes are particularly vulnerable. Mark your vehicle to make them unique—use large letters on the roof. Record serial/chassis numbers and photograph them.

Field gates

Field gate hinges should be of the capped or inverted type to prevent easy removal. Make regular checks to see if they have been tampered with and if you believe they have, contact your local police via 101. We advise you to mark your gates to make them unique to your farm and invest in some good quality chains or padlocks.


To prevent theft of livestock we advise regular field checks where animals are grazing. Consider CCTV to help you keep an eye on your stock. We recommend you keep hedges, fences and gates in good repair. Ditches, field gates with capping hinges are great barriers and cattle grids should be removable. If livestock is stolen, it’s important you provide us with an accurate description. We recommend you use ear tags, freeze-brand, hot-brand or tattoo your livestock so we can easily recognize them. Take photos of valuable animals.

Rural wellbeing

Farming is a way of life as well as a business, but times are not always easy—often due to factors beyond our control. It can be difficult to know who to turn to when it seems to be going wrong, especially since many farmers have a built-in resilience and are used to coping by themselves. Sometimes just the realisation that you are not alone can make the difference, having someone to talk to in confidence who can give unbiased advice.

There may be times when you see that there is something not quite right but don’t feel that it is your job to let anybody else know about it. You may be aware of somebody who is struggling to look after their stock due to failing health or because of depression, isn’t managing the paperwork and worried about the repercussions.

The police are often the organisation that gets called out as a last resort, but help at the right time may have been able to avoid problems from spiralling out of control. Your input could help to solve problems—or even save lives. If you don’t think you need this page now, so much the better, but you may want to bookmark it or email it to someone who does.

If you want to report something that you think the police should know about, call 101, or 999 in an emergency. If you would like to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Yorkshire Rural Support Network. Kate: 01423 546217 or 07912 495604; A partnership of Yorkshire statutory and voluntary agencies that together promote and provide sources of help – practical, financial, medical or emotional.

British Red Cross. Community Connect, Pauline: 07921 403288; Rebecca: 07894 802794; The British Red Cross is working with Land Rover to support vulnerable local people over 18 living in isolation in the Moors and Dales of North Yorkshire.

Gay Farmer Helpline. Keith: 07837 931894
Call the helpline and talk to someone who understands.

Fit for Farming. Men’s health made easy – download the Fit for Farming booklet.

Samaritans. 116 123;
Whatever you’re going through, call free, from any phone.

Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust. 0300 1233088
Support for gamekeepers, stalkers and ghillies, and their dependants past and present. GWT provides financial grants, educational grants, a helpline and a job register.

Farming Help. 03000 111 999 (7am – 11pm)
Farming Help provides confidential help for all in the farming community. You can reach three farming charities—the Addington Fund, the Farming Community Network and Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution—with just one call.

Addington Fund. Provides homes for farming families who have to leave their farm and by doing so will lose their home. In times of emergency, and where hardship prevails, Addington may be able to support a farm business through its Trustees’ Discretionary Fund with a short term grant.

Farming Community Network. A UK network of volunteers from the farming community and rural churches. The Farming Community Network provides a helpline and a visiting service to farming people and families who are facing difficulties.

Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution. 0808 2819490 A grant-making charity that provides confidential help to retired and working farming people in financial difficulty.

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