Rural crime affects the lifestyle and financial well-being of those who work and live in rural communities.
Theft and malicious damage to livestock and equipment costs farmers millions of dollars annually in revenue and loss of productivity.
To reduce rural crime, a number of strategies can be implemented to protect property, livestock and machinery.
These may include:
- Identify stock at an early age with permanent forms of identification (including registered brand, earmarks, ear tags, tattoos or microchips).
- Cross brand any bought cattle and maintain records of those you have purchased.
- Keep receipts of purchases (livestock and equipment) as additional proof of ownership.
- Grade your boundary fence lines and regularly check stock. Repair damaged fences and gates and immediately report any losses to police.
- Ensure stock is not left in holding paddocks, loading areas or in isolated areas that are not in sight of your homestead or a neighbouring homestead unless the stock are constantly checked.
- Secure loading ramps and stockyards to prevent unauthorised use by others.
- Build stockyards away from the road and in sight of the homestead.
Home and property
- Consider security when designing and erecting new buildings, sheds and/or stockyards.
- Regularly trim trees and shrubs around buildings to prevent concealment of intruders.
- Ensure building doors and windows are of solid construction and fitted with quality locks.
- Where ever possible, construct storage facilities within sight of the homestead.
- Install vandal resilient external lighting and CCTV cameras around buildings.
- Inform trusted neighbours when absent from your property.
Machinery and tools
- Have a detailed inventory of all your personal, household and farm valuables. Record serial numbers, inscriptions, brands or make and model and other identifying features.
- Engrave or identify your property including cattle panels, saddles and tack.
- Photograph or video your property particularly stud stock, machinery and those items that are not able to be engraved or marked. Keep in secured location.
- Keep farming and machinery tools in a secured area.
- Never leave ignition key in or on machinery or property vehicles.
- Keep fuel tanks, pumps and electric fence units secured and locked at the point of use.
- Secure firearms and ammunition in accordance with laws and regulations (i.e. in a locked and secured gun safe).
- Never leave firearms in vehicles when the vehicle is not in use.
- Ensure all firearms are registered, and report any loss or theft to police immediately.
- Always record who has permission to shoot on your property and report any trespassing to police.