Because of the remoteness of many country farms from the nearest
Police station, farms are often seen as "soft" targets by
thieves and burglars. Farm vehicles and equipment are commonly stolen,
to be dismantled into parts for separate re-sale. Also, burglaries at
remote properties is a big problem too.
Many areas have now started their own Farm Watch or Neighbourhood
Watch schemes. In this way, a group of remote properties can effectively
alert each other to the presence of unusual vehicles or people; or
unusual activities (especially at night).
Whilst this is not intended as carte blanche for vigilantes; it does
allow farmers to help safeguard their property by checking that gates
and barns are securely locked, placing attractive equipment out of sight
and leaving external lights on; and it can provide an early warning to
the police authorities to be on standby or to run a patrol through a
remote area to help deter any-one who is contemplating committing a
Farm Watches schemes may be supported directly by a co-operative
local Police Station; or they may be informal associations of people who
want to protect their own property. One useful example of how such
informal schemes can work is that information can be "flashed"
around a village to warn people of suspicious vehicles or targeted
property. If, for example, some-one disturbs some-one trying to steal a
Land Rover Defender; the vehicle owner can phone round a local network
of other Defender owners to let them know what has happened; and to make
sure that their own vehicles are less easy to steal for the next few