Marking your Farm Equipment & Tools – a cheap and effective farm security measure
One straight forward farm security measure that is often over looked is the marking of your farm tools and equipment.
If farm equipment is effectively marked it acts as an great deterrent to criminals targeting farms because:
- If a criminal is caught with marked items in his possession it is obvious that they are not his and the police can make an arrest.
- It makes it difficult for the thieves to move stolen items on, as it clearer that they may be ‘dodgy’.
- It makes it more likely the criminal will be caught, imagine them driving a stolen vehicle down the motorway, one which is sign written with details of the farm it belongs to for all (Police, neighbours, other farmers) to see. Compare that to them driving one that looks the same as all the others.
Additional to this it gives you a chance of getting your property back at some point.
The marking can be obvious or subtle, high tech or low tech. To be effective it should not easily be removed and may need to be hidden to make it so. However, to get the best deterrent effect the criminal should be aware that your property is marked.
Ideas for marking:
- A simple stripe of coloured paint on hand tools, clearly identifies them as yours and makes it harder for them to get accidentally or purposefully mixed up with the a contractors own tools.
- Stamping your farm post code on items that can take a stamp – this can be, but is not limited to, most metal and wooden items, think farm gates, trailers and plant, hand tools.
- Dying your sheep a particular colour has been proven as an effective step, if you have pink or orange sheep stolen – anyone trying to move or sell coloured sheep is taking a big risk, they will almost certainly choose unmarked sheep over coloured ones.
- Paint your post code on the roof / sides of trailers and pant. Ideally get a professional sign job done, it will certainly make your farm look good, and also identify what’s your as yours.
- Trackers are the ultimate vehicle marking system, they can be programmed to alert you of unauthorised vehicle & machinery movement, increasing the chance of recovery.
- Forensic marking systems use a colourless odourless liquid which contains a UV fluorescent dye accompanied by a forensic code unique to that particular application (and therefore to you). It is next to impossible to remove and police can use UV lights to establish if this type of coding is in existence. It’s difficult for criminals to know what has been marked as it can be used on an enormous range of materials , and is invisible in usual conditions. So a few signs put up around the farm help to publicise the fact. The most common systems are by DataTag and SmartWater. (We have heard of the police doing this service for free so it might be worth contacting your local police officer).
- Marking things up with UV paints and pens can give a low cost version of the smart water system.
- Remember to keep details of how your property are marked if possible alongside, serial numbers, time of purchase, a picture etc
This list is not exhaustive and often your own your ingenuity will play a role. We have heard of a farmer painting all his equipment pink! Not that we think that many farmers would want to drive around in a pink vehicle BUT I’m sure it was effective. (If you have any other ideas please let us know!)
Marking your farm equipment, gates, tools, compressors etc has been proven time and again to be effective. Being so cheap and easy is something that ALL farmers should do if they want to take farm crime seriously.
Most of these farm security measures are available in our online store.