Thames Valley Police have seen an increase in reported thefts and burglaries in rural areas.
A good standard of building security is very important in rural areas, especially for outbuildings that may not be visited for weeks at a time. Due to their remote locations, the following security measures may be beneficial.
To protect your rural home or business:
• keep the boundaries of your land and property well-maintained and secure
• fit good quality window locks and consider security bars and grilles for vulnerable windows and openings
• make sure windows and door frames are secure and in good repair
• keep all doors and windows shut and locked when not in use
• install a visible burglar alarm with security lighting
• fit strong locks to sheds, garages and outbuildings
• make sure gates cannot be lifted off or have their fixing bolts removed
• use locking posts or temporary obstructions to control wide access points to yards
• check security equipment regularly to ensure it works properly
For additional security you 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 and entry control system
• establish a single gated entrance and exit, removing all private access points that are not in use
• use locking posts or temporary obstructions to control large openings
• plant thorny hedging to act as a natural barrier
• dig deep ditches to control and deter unwanted vehicle access
• invert and cap gate hinges
• make sure fixing bolts are secure and use covered padlocks
• install warning signs
To help reduce the risk of illegal and unauthorised occupation, incursions and encampments you could:
• look closely at the perimeter to ensure it is as secure as possible
• consider using large tree trunks, rocks, ditching and earth mounds around boundaries to prevent and restrict vehicle access
• keep unused land maintained and free from litter and other waste
You can sign up to Country Watch, a Thames Valley Alert messaging system specifically developed for people who live or work in rural communities to receive crime alerts, witness appeals, galleries of wanted criminals or suspects, information on community groups, events or meetings. Anyone signed up to Thames Valley Alert can receive Country Watch messages as part of their normal service. Just log on to your account and tick the Country Watch box under Community Interests. You can visit www.thamesvalleycountrywatch.co.uk for further information.
Please contact us if you have any information relating to crime in your neighbourhood. Report online at www.thamesvalley.police.uk or call us on 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.
Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on free phone 0800 555 111.