We have the latest advice for you, whether on farm or online, to help with deal with incidents involving activists. You'll find helpful and reassuring steps to follow from scenario planning to reporting incidents of harassment to the police.
Remember: if activists are harassing you or your family, or causing you alarm or distress, DIAL 999. For less urgent issues and advice contact NFU CallFirst on 0370 845 8458.
How to prepare your farm:
- Make sure you and your staff familiarise themselves with the procedures in our member-only briefing Practical Guidance: Dealing with animal rights activists and extremists.
- Develop a key contacts sheet for you and your staff with telephone numbers for any individuals or organisations referenced in Practical Guidance: Dealing with animal rights activists and extremists.
- Include the key information required by police:
- main contact
- business name
- address including postcode and grid reference if possible, or your What3Words identifier.
Standard police reporting procedure:
For the majority of incidents, this is the standard procedure that people should follow. However, if activists are harassing you or your family, or causing you alarm or distress, dial 999.
- Dial 101 (the non-emergency police number) and say you want to report a crime.
- Describe what has happened and where you are calling from.
- Give the postcode – this will identify the premises on the police computer.
- Gather as much evidence as you can. This could include descriptions of the perpetrators, vehicle registrations and, if safe to take, photos or video.
- Keep copies of witness statements, crime numbers and any photos of activity or damage.
More information about reporting crime can be found on www.police.uk
Social media activism advice
See what steps you can take if you are victim of online abuse, and what you can do to control your social media privacy. If you’re looking for advice on how to tell your farming story, read our social media and video tips for farmers.
What to do if you’re the victim of online abuse
If feel like you are the victim of online abuse, remember these two things:
- Don’t panic
If you have ever been a victim of an online attack, it can feel like everything is against you. The best thing to do is to stay calm and review your options.
- Don’t fan the flames
Some people’s attitudes will never change, no matter what you say, so getting caught up in an argument that goes no where can do more damage than good. The sections below will show you how to block and mute people who you don’t want to hear from.
Here are some actions you can take as your next steps:
If you see something on Facebook you don't like, you have a few options:
- If you don't like a post or comment that someone leaves on your profile, you can hide or delete it.
- If you’re not happy with a post you’re tagged in, you can remove the tag.
- If someone on Facebook upsets you, you can unfriend or block the person.
- Facebook will review and remove anything that goes against the Facebook Community Standards. To start this process, you can report profiles, posts, posts on your timeline, messages and comments.
Not what you’re looking for? Find out more from Facebook.
- If you want to remove an account's tweets from your timelines, you can either mute them (which removes an account's Tweets from your timeline without unfollowing or blocking that account. These accounts will not know that you’ve muted them) or block them (which helps users in restricting specific accounts from contacting them, seeing their Tweets, and following them.
- People on Twitter are allowed to post content, including potentially inflammatory content, as long as they’re not violating the Twitter Rules. If you want to report a tweet, account or message that goes against these rules (such as being abusive or harmful), read this Report abusive behaviour post on Twitter.
Not what you’re looking for? Find out more from Twitter.
- If an account is established with the intent of bullying or harassing another person or if a photo or comment is intended to bully or harass someone, you can report it.
- You can also block the person.
Not what you’re looking for? Find out more from Instagram.
How to protect your accounts using privacy settings
While some people use social media to connect with new people, putting up strict privacy settings is a great way of keeping control of who can see your social media activity. Here’s what you can do on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
To be sure you continue sharing with who you want, you can use the Privacy Check up to review and adjust your settings.
You can choose to keep your Tweets public or protect your Tweets. Read more about the difference between public and protected Tweets.
By default, anyone can see your profile and posts on Instagram. You can make your account private so that only followers you approve can see what you share. Find out how to do that here.
You might also be interested in:
- Prevent and report rural crime with the NFU's dedicated hub
- Read our online cyber security guide for farmers
- The Rural Crime Hub is a one-stop shop for farmers to get information about the best prevention measures, how to report crime, including who to call, and exclusive business advice for NFU members
More from NFUonline:
- Ground-breaking changes announced in 2021 sugar beet contract offer
- Get involved in Back British Farming Day
- Watch now: A message from the President
- What the NFU is doing to help members