IFA Crime Prevention Executive Colin Connolly offers some advice to secure your vehicles and trailers.
Vehicles, trailers and horseboxes are all easy targets for criminals, especially if they are left unsecured or in isolated locations. The importance of securing and parking vehicles as close to your premises as possible, ideally out of sight, cannot be overemphasised.
The best area to store these items is indoors or, if that is not possible, away from nearby roads and from easy access. Wheel clamps are available to fit all sizes of wheel and should be used to help prevent trailers, horseboxes other vehicles from being stolen. Locking posts are an additional feature that can be installed to provide extra security for trailers.
The bigger block method is very effective; this is quite simply the practice of blocking your trailer with a vehicle or other object that is larger and more difficult to move in order to prevent it being taken easily.
Making a mark and keeping records
Marking or customising your farm equipment will ensure that your property is easily identifiable and will deter thieves. It will also help An Garda Siochana to return any recovered property to you in the event of a theft. You should keep receipts, documentation or photographs of your property in a safe place to assist An Garda Siochana should you be the victim of a theft.
The IFA initiative Theft Stop allows you to both ID mark your property and keep secure records. You can register for free at www.TheftStop.ie and once registered, you will get a unique security ID that you can use to brand or mark your property. Items to assist with marking property are available from Theft Stop.ie but many people have their own methods of marking property and that works fine too; the most important thing is that the unique ID is used.
Once registered with TheftStop, you have access to a secure online personal profile, in which you can upload photographs and other information or distinguishing features about your property. Engraving your Theft Stop I.D in a discreet location will further enhance your security and this mark should also be recorded in your personal profile. All new trailers come with a manufacturer serial number and you can record the details as additional information in your TheftStop profile.
Alarms and tracking
Many companies offer alarm and tracking devices for trailers, horseboxes and cattle trailers. This is not a one-size-fits-all area and care should be given to ensuring that the company is reputable and registered appropriately. You should examine the services on offer carefully and choose a solution that suits your immediate needs.
The second-hand market for trailers and horseboxes is a busy place and care should be taken when buying a used item. Ask for proof of ownership and be suspicious of anything that seems out of the ordinary.
Never view a trailer in a public car park or other public place. If possible, try to view at the seller’s home address or at a known place where there is CCTV. Ensure to check for any tampering or removal of the chassis or Theft Stop ID.
Theft Stop crime prevention month moves to Galway for the month of May and IFA Crime Prevention Executive Colin Connolly will be available at various locations in the county to give security advice and to promoting the TheftStop initiative, in partnership with An Garda Siochana.