Rural & Heritage Security: Threats and Solutions

Whilst it is fair to assume that crime rates are usually higher in urban zones than in rural areas, the fact is that countryside and heritage settings have their own individual security threats, which call for specialist security solutions.

Whilst it is fair to assume that crime rates are usually higher in urban zones than in rural areas, the fact is that countryside and heritage settings have their own individual security threats, which call for specialist security solutions.

Heritage and rural security

Rural crime covers a variety of different crimes and incidents that affect rural communities.

Whilst it may come as a surprise, even in built-up areas like London, rural crimes such as agricultural and fuel theft, equine crime, rustling, wildlife intrusion, vandalism, fly tipping and heritage crime can be prevalent, especially across the likes of the many city farms, green spaces, villages and monuments found across the capital.

When it comes to heritage crime in particular, there is little regional variation, with the crime rate in London around 14%, compared to 19.8% for the south of England in general.

In 2022, the cost of rural crime rose considerably by 22%, estimated at £49.5 million based on NFU Mutual claims statistics.

Heritage crime such as theft, criminal damage, arson and anti-social behaviour can harm historical assets, as well as inhibit the public’s enjoyment and knowledge of their heritage.

Rural crime can have significant consequences for individuals, businesses, and communities. These include financial loss, impact on livelihoods, anxiety and fear, isolation, and links to organised crime.

The trouble with rural crime is that it often goes under-reported. This means a lot of people don’t get the support they need in recovering from this type of crime.

Security solutions for rural property

With many high value assets on display such as farm machinery, plant and livestock, and rural areas prone to targeting by organised crime groups, combatting rural crime calls for a specialised approach.

Physical barriers

Gates, fences and hedges are a must to deter people walking or driving onto the property. If you are using an electric fence, then you will need to place warning signs in the vicinity in order to comply with the law, and protect yourself in case a trespasser injures themselves.

Defensive planting works well in rural settings, keeping the beauty of the landscape intact and supporting wildlife, whilst blocking views of fields and farm buildings from the public highway.

Alarms, motion detectors, securing lighting and CCTV

An intruder alarm will act as a deterrent, as well as alerting owners and/or the emergency services to attempted security breaches.

Smart motion detectors will pick up movement and send alerts to a smartphone or tablet. These are very useful when you have large areas of land and outbuildings to keep an eye on.

CCTV is another effective deterrent, and can prove highly valuable when it comes to tracking down criminals and providing evidence for prosecution. Combined with motion detectors, smart CCTV will sent footage to smart devices, alerting owners to potential break-ins.

Finally, security lighting is again an effective deterrent, and when combined with motion detection and CCTV, can form a valuable, multi-layered security measure for rural properties.

Tracking technology

GPS trackers fitted within high value farming equipment allow you to pinpoint the location of stolen items in real time. Using this information, the police can quickly and efficiently locate the items.

High security locks

It’s vital not to overlook the importance of keeping barns and outbuildings secure. As well as installing surveillance cameras, alarms and lighting around barn entrances, be sure to secure doors with high security locks supplied and fitted by a Master Locksmith Association accredited locksmith. This way, you can be sure the locks recommended will be suitable for purpose, as well as insurance compliant.

Property marking

Rural communities can benefit from property marking to make it easier to identify any items that are stolen.

There are various methods of property marking. UV pens can be effective, but do bear in mind that the ink is prone to fading in the sunlight. Etching is another option, but there are other, more advanced methods you can employ.

The Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB), supported by the police, insurance providers and the government, has published standards for property marking systems.

These standards specify that the marked asset can be traced to the legal owner through a secure database register linked to the marking system, as well as act as a deterrent through visible marking. Property marking systems that align with these standards are regularly assessed by the LPCB to ensure quality remains consistent, providing added reassurance for users.

Join a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme

Neighbourhood Watch is a community-led initiative that aims to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour by encouraging people to look out for each other.

Neighbourhood Watch has joined forces with the likes of the National Farmers Union, National Rural Crime Network, Countryside Alliance, Country Land and Business Association, Historic England and the Wildlife Trusts. Together, by highlighting rural crime and helping raise awareness of the issues faced by rural communities, they can help with identifying, sharing and reporting suspicious instances.

Security solutions for heritage properties

Buildings of historic interest are often seen as high-value targets for burglars. Estimates suggest that artworks and sculptures worth more than £100 million are stolen from historic buildings in the UK each year.

Another problem is that many of these properties allow public access to areas containing artefacts of considerable value, both in terms of heritage and financial worth. Vandalism is as much an issue as theft, especially in recent times where protest groups have been using such actions to get their points across.

Heritage buildings call for highly specialised security solutions which must take the likes of Listed Building and Conservation Area permissions into account. With this in mind, we have created a dedicated guide on how to secure such properties.

Securing rural and heritage properties for 75 years

If you are looking for bespoke solutions to protect your rural or heritage property, Barry Bros Security is at your service.

Our experts have all the knowledge you need to devise a security plan tailored specifically to your needs, in-keeping with the specific legislation and considerations surrounding historical and rural properties.

To discuss your individual needs, you are welcome to get in touch.

How Can We Help?

Regardless of the type of premises you are looking to protect, Barry Bros Security has the solution. Contact us today for expert advice and the benefit of decades of experience in the security industry.