Wealden Police have carried out a day of action in a bid to tackle burglaries in our more rural areas as we head into darker nights.

On Wednesday, November 2, officers from Wealden Neighbourhood Policing Team visited a number of farms, rural villages, and small businesses to offer support and advice to help protect their livelihood and property as part of Operation Scarecrow.

Some owners shared that had previously been victims of a burglary, so police gave them prevention tools and kits to help secure their property and put extra interventions in place.

These included Selecta DNA Kits to mark their valuable tools, equipment, and machinery, as well as CCTV posters and information on the UK’s National Property Register, where photographs of their valuable property can be kept

Owners were also shown how to find and use their serial numbers and take photographs of valuable property to help identify ownership in the event their property is stolen as a result of a burglary.

Officers visited farms in Selmeston, Chiddingly, East Hoathly, Whitesmith, Waldron, Forest Row, Blackham, Groombridge, Wadhurst, Cowden and Holtye – with farms ranging from cattle farms to stud farms and everything in between.

They shared the following suggestions and tips to help keep rural homes, businesses and belongings safe:

  • lock equipment away in a secure building or part of a building when not in use
  •  install a burglar alarm on buildings where equipment is kept
  • keep expensive items and vehicles out of sight when not in use
  • mark your tools and equipment and register them
  • consider fitting outside security lights
  • install a visible burglar alarm
  • make sure windows and door frames are secure and in good repair
  • fit strong locks to sheds, garages and outbuildings
  • consider security bars and grilles for vulnerable windows and openings
  • make sure gates cannot be lifted off or have their fixing bolts removed
  • check security equipment regularly to ensure it works properly
  • use locking posts or temporary obstructions to control wide access points to yards

For additional security, owners could also:

  • install automatic security lights that come on at dusk and turn off at dawn
  •  install CCTV cameras to watch over the most vulnerable areas of the property
  • install a monitored intruder alarm system
  • install an entry control system infrared, intercom or keypad
  • use a single gated entrance/exit, removing all private access points that are not in use

Rural crime is an issue for large areas of the country, but it tends to go unreported. It can impact on insurance premiums, food prices and damage local communities.

Find out what rural crime is and what can be done to prevent it here: https://www.sussex.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/rc/rural-crime.

If you think an offence has or is about to be committed, let us know. You can report a crime online.

If you’re not sure it’s a crime, we’d rather hear from you and determine that ourselves.

You can also anonymously report rural crime online using The National Farmers’ Union’s Rural Crime Reporting Line or calling 0800 783 0137. This lets you give information about crime relating to:

  • large scale industrial fly-tipping
  • hare coursing
  • machinery theft
  • livestock theft