Farm security is an often overlooked – but nonetheless important – aspect of daily life for farmers across the country.
However, it’s no harm to brush up on one’s levels of security and know what to look out for.
With this in mind, here are some tips courtesy of “Farm Security Crime Prevention Advice”, compiled by An Garda Síochána and the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).
First up, are a number of “dos” and “don’ts” recommended by the two organisations.
- Make a record of vehicle make, colour and registration number of strangers when they call to your farm;
- Note the general description of caller(s) height, accent, gait, nationality, hair colour, eye colour, tattoos, etc;
- Contact your local Garda Station as soon as possible;
- Mark all your property with your unique personal ID;
- Keep a record of serial numbers to cross reference;
- Consider installing a tracking system on your equipment.
Meanwhile, farmers are urged not to do the following:
- Buy machinery, trailers, tractors, quads, ride-on mowers, etc. from strangers; or
- Pay cash for goods.
Farmers are urged to note that no receipt means no guarantee.
In addition, if you are in possession of stolen goods you may be liable to prosecution, the advice warns.
In terms of best practice for the farmhouse, the two bodies recommend that farmers consider appropriate good quality locks, bolts and bars on doors and windows.
You should always secure your home, close and lock windows and doors – even if you are only going out for a short time. Also, one should not hide spare keys outside.
Farmers are urged not to leave ladders or other climbing aids lying around outside. You should also ensure windows, skylights and vents are protected from the burglar.
“In all aspects of security regarding your home and business, good neighbourliness and vigilance are the most effective deterrent against crime and the detection of offenders.”
With this in mind, you’re advised to watch out for your neighbours and their property – hopefully they will do the same for you.
Also, a local neighbourhood watch or community alert can be good to join.
A dog can be a noisy deterrent to intruders, it is added.
Finally, farmers are advised to report any suspicious activity to one’s local Garda station immediately.