GPS Thefts & Tractor Damage In Lincolnshire & Rural Areas
Safe Security Solutions has a central office based in the heart of Lincolnshire and many of our clients are farmers or estate owners who have informed us of a disturbing trend in tractor break-ins and continual thefts of sat nav systems, onboard computers and GPS equipment.
We’ve noticed a number of stories in the local papers (such as Lincolnshire Reporter and Farming UK) and it seems to have become a persistent crime over the last few years and even more so over recent weeks.
We are fully aware that specialised farming computers and GPS equipment is worth a lot more than standard sat nav or laptops and their loss can render a farm inoperable until such time that they can be replaced. As a leading provider of farm security within the UK, we can help.
A Huge Inconvenience
Aside from halting the ability to work or perform necessary tasks, there are the issues of insurance payouts taking a long time and the physical damage incurred to the tractors and farm machinery to gain access.
Many modern farm machines are financially comparable with (or in excess of) a large mortgage a house. With these costs spiralling, it makes an already difficult time for farmers nearly impossible. Official advice on how to avoid these thefts is almost laughable… We’ll share those tips below but give you another option which will allow you to stop a crime before or during its execution, not simply gathering evidence.
- Wherever possible, remove equipment such as aerials, computers, GPS & sat nav systems.
- Add battery-operated alarms to removable items.
- Fit hard-to-remove brackets to these items.
- Engrave or use UV pens to mark all removable property with your details for future tracking.
- Photograph and keep a log of all serial numbers for any items you wish to protect.
- Lock all machinery away at night.
The Problems With This Advice
Aside from the huge inconvenience and the impractical aspect to the above advice, the issues are really ones of the distances required to safely store vehicles and property as well as the fact that most “security measures” seem to look at evidence gathering rather than crime and theft prevention.
Removing all items and safely securing overnight is simply not an option when farms and estates can cover many miles and work hours are often dawn ‘till dusk. It’s highly impractical to drive a tractor several miles from yard to field and drive back and every night when quicker, more convenient transport is available.
If you’re working in a large field or several fields in the same area without access to a barn or secure storage, it’s simply not possible to expect that land working vehicles can make a return trip to secure lockups and then return again in the morning. It’s costly in fuel, time and employee’s wages.
Brackets and tie-wraps pose little obstruction for a criminal with some intent. By the time they have broken into the vehicle, the damage has already occurred. This is typically a smashed window but in extreme cases can be structural (forced doors or windows via pry-bar) or in rarer cases still, forced or broken locks.
Fast, forced entry always seems to be the preferred criminal choice. The fact a computer is strapped in or a sat nav has a tie wrap may pose a mild annoyance to the would-be thief but it will not stop them. Time is often of the essence in these cases but an extra few seconds to snip a cable or force a secure bar will simply cause more devastation to the vehicle cab and console.
Marking items with identifying information and keeping a log of all serial numbers is ultimately pointless. This form of evidence gathering works on an assumption that items will be stolen and further down the line may get recovered. What good is a piece of equipment when it’s already been replaced? Ignoring the fact that it can take up a lot of admin time to gather all product details and physically mark all items, this kind of equipment is not always assigned to one machine making tracking on the farm’s end pretty difficult.
Prevention is better than cause but it’s extremely rare that stolen equipment is ever recovered so what realistic options are there?
The Safe Security Solution…
As mentioned above, farms can cover a very wide area with fields and yards being many miles apart. There are practical, actionable solutions that can be applied to reduce crime, deter criminals or in some cases eliminate these thefts entirely.
Portable, Buried Security Kits
By far the simplest, cheapest and easiest system available is our Sensoguard Portable Tactical Security Kit. This system is ideal for machines left in a field or open area overnight or any non-permanent fixture.
These kits consist of buried sensors hooked up to covert cameras with live feeds that work via a mobile signal, offering real-time surveillance of a perimeter. This system can, in some cases, be integrated with third part measures like lighting and alarms to deter thieves and threats who enter the perimeter.
These kits are completely battery-operated with up to ten-year life span on the sensors. They can be moved and reused as necessary and will fit inside a small backpack or waterproof storage case, which are included.
Each system is weatherproof, waterproof and foolproof. Simply bury the system around the required perimeter, set the camera down and it does all the work. It can even differentiate between vehicles in the area of operation, wildlife or human movement, reducing false alarms.
Permanent Buried Intruder systems
Many farms will have multiple yards or storage areas which will often be quite remote and may or may not have active staff on-site overnight. These premises or buildings will see regular short-term storage of equipment including tractors, land-working machinery and combine harvesters but items stored there will change frequently.
It may be possible to dispatch staff when an alert goes up, though it will likely be preferable to alert local authorities who may be quicker to respond and reduce the threat level to the farmer or landowner.
Alternatively, criminals can be deterred by installing security measures such as CCTV, alarms, sirens, beacons or lighting. But catching a criminal in the act will potentially stop their activities, though ideally, this requires a system in place which alerts to a break in covertly.
This is where the Sensoguard Buried Intrusion Detection Systems really earn their keep.
The seismic sensors (based on earthquake measuring technology) will eliminate false alarms and alert to genuine threats by differentiating between vehicles moving around the perimeter, human footsteps and the usual false alarm causing weather conditions or wildlife.
The smart technology will assess the threat and act accordingly: Sending a live camera feed to the person monitoring the area with a real-time alert or triggering a pre-set deterrent such as lighting, alarms or security systems to scare the perpetrators away from completing their criminal acts.
Rather than gathering evidence, landowners can now take action as the crime happens.
Prevention Is An Option
When you’re seeing areas targeting and mass break-ins and thefts over a short space of time, it is clearly the work of targeted, organised criminals. Few deterrents work and basic security measures provide little to no assistance.
Taking action before the crime happens or during the criminal activity means that not only with the criminals be brought to justice but word will spread amongst criminal gangs that there is “something” alerting the authorities to problem areas every time theft is attempted. This will, in turn, lead to a reduction in the threat.
Criminal activity can never be fully eliminated but it can be dealt with as it occurs and stubbed out. The threat may never go away, but if every time a crime is attempted and stopped, it will eventually become apparent that the landowner’s property is not to be touched. No other security system provider in the UK can guarantee this in quite the same way as Safe Security Solutions.
Get in touch and see how we can help now.