IFA Rural Crime Prevention Executive Colin Connolly offers some security advice to help reduce your chances of being targeted by criminals.
Why are some properties targeted by thieves and others not? The answer is not straightforward but in many instances the victim’s property is not the first property visited. Other properties may have been cased or visited and found to be too risky for a criminal. Make sure yours is one of them.
Physical and or visible deterrents will demonstrate to the criminal a clear indication that the owner of the property is security conscious. Many criminals look for obvious signs of deterrent or protection, such as lighting, CCTV, Alarms or passing traffic.
Establishing a robust, defined boundary will make it harder to access the property and criminals don’t want the hassle – their chances of their success reduces, as they deal with each obstacle.
Look closely at access to your property. Establish a very clear entrance and exit to your property. Place CCTV at this point and light up the area. A secondary gate can be extremely effective. One at the outermost access point and another before the dwelling house or immediate farm yard.
While opening and closing gates can take a little more time, their advantages far outweighs the time lost. Criminals tend to arrive by vehicle and they need to get this vehicle close to the property to load up. If they can’t get close enough they will move on.
Dig ditches where appropriate and keep hedges to a level that allows you to see the road. If a criminal is forced to pull in alongside a road or entrance there is more chance of them being noticed by a passer-by.
If a gate is not in regular use, lock it off or render it unusable. For gates that are in use, secure them with resistant locks and invert or cap the hinges to prevent them being easily lifted off. Paint the gate, with illuminous or highlight colours. Make your gate the one that won’t be easy to steal.
By displaying a Theft Stop farm sign farmers and rural dwellers are sending out a clear message to the would-be burglar that all valuable property is marked and that the occupants are security conscious – www.Theftstop.ie.
In addition, the use of local community text alert services and social media to advise the community of suspicious activity will deter criminals from entering an area. Criminals make it their business to know areas where their presence would go unnoticed. Where active community groups are in place, criminals are reluctant to visit.