Theft and burglaries occur more often than you might think. On average there are approximately 54,000 reported burglaries in New Zealand every year - that's one every 10 minutes. At FMG, we've paid out over $21 million for burglary and theft claims in the last five years alone.
Our claims statistics show that vehicles are often stolen when the keys are left inside, so make sure you and your employees are vigilant with keys, keeping them on your person or out of sight. This is particularly important when working in paddocks near public roads.
To deter theft of tools or other farm property, engrave them with an identifying feature such as your farm name. It's also a good idea to record details and serial numbers of high value assets on SNAP, a free online asset register created by the NZ Police at www.snap.org.nz
Any wooden firearm cabinets should be upgraded to steel gun safes that are securely bolted in place, and safes should be able to withstand at least 10 minutes of attempted forced entry with tools such as hammers, crowbars and screwdrivers. By law all ammunition and firearms should be stored separately and securely.
For firearms that can not be dismantled, FMG and the NZ Police recommend installing trigger locks.
Locking fuel tanks is a good way to deter fuel theft, but you can also install security lighting in fuelling areas as a further deterrent.
You can also park vehicles with fuel caps close to the wall, or vehicles close together to restrict access to fuel.
Alarm systems can be the difference between a burglar having seconds on your property before they are detected, and having minutes or hours to help themselves to the items in your home. Quality professionally installed security systems cost around $1,000. You may wish to prioritise and alarm other farm buildings, focusing on those that contain the most valuable, or critical items.
In this day and age, it's easy to share our travel plans on social media but this is one of the easiest ways for burglars to know when you're away. So don't announce your plans online and if you can, have a neighbour or family member check on your property while you're away.
While this advice sounds simple, not hiding spare keys under door mats, planter pots, above doorways or in letter boxes is one of the easiest ways to keep your home safe.
Stock theft or rustling is estimated to cost the rural community $120 million a year in lost income. There are a few things you can do to help combat this loss, including locking stockyard gates and loading ramps, checking paddocks where herds are grazing, and report suspicious behaviour to the Police and your neighbours.
Also, if you do witness stock thefts (or attempted thefts), you should report it to the Police, and you can record it on the AgriHQ livestock theft page here.
As hives are often placed in remote areas, theft is a real risk to the beekeeping industry. With the demand for manuka honey increasing theft is likely to continue. Reporting suspicious behaviour and keeping in touch with local farmers and other beekeepers is a good start in preventing theft. There are also some proactive measures you can take to help minimise theft:
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