The warning comes following a nationwide increase in thefts of heating oil from commercial premises, thought to be caused by a significant net increase in crude oil prices due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.
David Crowley of the Rural, Wildlife & Heritage Team said: “Secured by design recommend doing this as part of a larger security review, as easy access provides offenders with an opportunity to consider taking other items of value, including quad bikes, power tools and agricultural GPS Units.
“Classic Land Rover Defender vehicles are still sort after by thieves, due to the cost of replacement parts and reduced availability. Please ensure that all vehicles and items of value are locked and secured overnight.
“Consideration should be made for the installation or maintenance of CCTV and the fitting or replacement of area lighting. Modern LED lighting is both energy efficient and requiring little to no maintenance during the extended product lifespan.
“Why install good lighting and CCTV? Targeted lighting has been shown to reduce crime and reduce the fear of crime. Whilst good lighting serves the property owner, it can help in early detection and serves to deter or delay their criminal activity. This is particularly true when fitted in conjunction with high-definition CCTV and simple consumer grade ‘Internet of Things' (IoT) sensor networks. These can be used to alert and notify farmers of unauthorised access to land.
“Simple consumer ‘Internet of Things' (IoT) sensors are now available to remotely monitor the open and close status of various on-farm infrastructure.
“Magnetic sensors can be easily installed on barn and outbuilding doors, with invisible light beam sensors, used to detect movement across open yards, roadways or even open-ended structures and priority farm buildings.
“This would allow the farmer to monitor when doors are open and closed and unauthorised movement of vehicles, humans, and animals alike.
“This can prove particularly useful for farmers whose property has public footpaths running near to or through a farm yard. This could alert and enable the farmer to respond quickly to an incident. In event of unauthorised access, it can also provide a timestamp for reviewing CCTV and to enable accurate follow up enquiries.
“Valuable farm equipment such as quadbikes and trailers can be fitted with locking devices, electronic tracking and immobilisation.”