Acquisitive Crime & Theft

Acquisitive Crime & Theft

Theft of Property, Livestock, Vehicles, Machinery and Fuel:

Reviewing your security and following some of the advice on this page can assist in preventing you becoming a victim of crime. Highlighting possible areas for improvement in your family, friends or neighbours security can also help them avoid becoming a victim of crime.

Essential questions to ask when reviewing your security:

  • What’s visible and worth taking?
  • What’s the easiest way in and out?
  • Will I easily be seen or heard?
  • What would put me off?

The presence of many of the precautions and items below areproven to deter would-be-thieves. The most effective of all advice available, is a gate on the entrance to your land.

Theft of Property and Livestock

Property Theft and Boundary Security

To increase your chances of getting your property back if it’s lost or stolen, register your property for free at, it only takes a couple of minutes.

Doors and Windows:

  • Ensure all doors and windows are shut and locked when not in use. Even when you are at home. Ensure windows and door frames are in good repair, with good quality window locks
  • Fit good quality deadlocks conforming to the latest British Standards to all external doors
  • Out buildings and sheds should be kept locked with contents such as tools kept in lockable cabinets or secured to the structure.
  • Chain items together and pin to the floor with bolts into the concrete
  • Do not leave tools such as oxy acetylene, cutting equipment, spades, bolt croppers or forklift trucks with keys in the ignition, in easy reach as these can be used to break in.
  • Criminals rarely bring their own tools for fear of being stopped en-route, but will gladly use what’s on offer on scene

Security Lighting:

  • Install security lights that come on automatically when movements is detected during the hours of dusk and dawn
  • Help make your property look occupied by fitting timer switches to lamps and radios, in different rooms and outbuildings and set them to come on at staggered times

CCTV and Intruder Alarms:

  • We recommend investing in a set of wildlife cameras. They are wireless and can be hidden around your property, these are much more likely to capture images with evidential value as intruders will not be aware of their presence unlike overt CCTV
  • Consider installing CCTV to provide formal surveillance to the most vulnerable areas of the property. Ensure images are of good quality and cameras cannot be tampered with, consider installing an audible and monitored intruder alarm system. This can be as complex or basic as you like. Some shed alarms are very cheap and can be rigged up as a pull pin trip wire that’s very effective

Entrances & Exits:

  • Look closely at the perimeter of your land to ensure it is as secure as possible
  • Install gates with appropriate locks
  • Plant bushes and shrubs which make access difficult for trespassers, such as near windows
  • If possible remove all private access points that are no longer used and establish a single gated entrance and exit
  • Consider installing an entry control system (infra-red, intercom of keypad entry)
  • Field gateways should be blocked, when not in use, with objects that are difficult to move to prevent or restrict access
  • Consider looking at your property’s boundary, ditches and bunds which are very effective at keeping vehicle access to your property limited to the gated areas

Gates and Hinges:

  • Invert and cap gate hinges so that gates cannot be lifted off. Ensure fixing bolts cannot be removed
  • Use good quality padlocks with covers so they cannot be easily cut off
  • Use locking posts or temporary obstructions to control large openings to yards
  • Mark metal gates so as they are identifiable if stolen. And take photos of them

Livestock Theft

  • Make regular checks of the fields where animals are kept to check that fences haven’t been breached and that no one else is in the field with them – if they’re making more noise than usual this could mean something has disturbed them.
  • Use ear tags, horn brands, freeze marking or tattooing to make your animals more easily identifiable
  • Keep your hedges, fences and gates in good repair: field gate hinges should have capping hinges so they can’t be removed easily; cattle grids should be removable and locked out of position when they’re not in use; use locking posts to obstruct large openings to yards
  • Consider installing CCTV
  • Always report any suspicious activity involving livestock to the police.

Theft of Vehicles and Farm Machinery

Keys and Locks

  • Where practical, vehicles should not be left in a visible place when not in use
  • When vehicles or plant equipment are kept outside they should be locked and the keys secured in your possession or in a locked key safe
  • Consider upgrading lock and ignition keys to the non-generic type in the case of farm machinery such as tractors and telehandlers
  • Consider the use of hitch locks, wheel clamps or ground anchors. You may require a combination of the above to meet insurance requirements
  • Blocking in smaller vehicles such as quad bikes with larger machinery is also advisable

Security Marking and Data Tagging

  • All property including vehicles should be uniquely marked, photographed and recorded somewhere safe. This should include serial, chassis and model numbers
  • Use property marking to uniquely mark all types of property
  • There are companies recommended by the police such as Datatag and Smart Water which will greatly assist police in identifying your property should it be recovered
  • Keep a list of your assets, and write down the vin, chassis or serial numbers. Take photos of them and any identifying marks or irregularities
  • Include your post code and property name or number in a non-obvious place
  • On vehicles such as tractors and diggers add unique numbers or other identifiers to the roof to aid aerial identification by the police. This can also be done to 4×4 vehicles
  • Popular options include stamping, etching, UV marking and DNA products

CESAR Security Systems and ‘Datatag’

£15k has been invested in an initiative that gives farmers an opportunity to have their vehicles, machinery and equipment securely marked with the industry standard CESAR Security Systems and ‘Datatag’ products to help deter thieves.

Fuel Theft

The incidence of fuel theft rises and falls dependent on the overall price of fuel.

When prices are high there tends to be an increase. When the price drops so does the number of thefts. Diesel from farm storage tanks, farm vehicles and home heating fuel tanks can be prevented by:

  • Storing diesel in a secure fuel tank within a bund and use good quality locks
  • Site heating and diesel fuel tanks as far as practicable out of sight from roads
  • Avoid siting diesel storage tanks in isolated areas such as outlying buildings which are easily accessible
  • Consider fitting alarm beams in the immediate vicinity of storage tanks
  • Consider using a mobile bowser that could be removed to a secure place when not in use
  • Consider the use of a ‘diesel dye’ that makes your diesel traceable and therefore less attractive to thieves
  • Report incidents of suspicious activity to the police and if possible record vehicle details and descriptions of people involved
  • Avoid leaving machinery in isolated areas such as fields when not in use
  • Reporting suspicious activity and incidents of theft to the police

Reporting Theft

If you have experienced a theft of your property, report this to Derbyshire Constabulary through the online ‘Report a Crime’ portal HERE. or by calling 101.

In an emergency, always call 999.

To access victim support services, please contact Derbyshire Victim Services HERE.

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