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Farm and outbuilding crime prevention advice

Preventing theft from farm and outbuildings

Around your farm yard, in your barns and outbuildings there is valuable equipment that will appeal to thieves e.g. power tools, quad bikes, machinery and diesel.

Isolated buildings, machinery and livestock present the greatest risk.

Tips to consider

Farm buildings

  • Make sure valuable equipment is stored in a secure building behind a strong locked door, or use a metal cage and keep it locked when unattended.
  • When not in use, lock doors to outbuildings at all times. If equipment is in a barn or rick yard secure it with gates, an alarm or security beams.
  • Use locks that comply with the British Standards, good quality locking bars and high security padlocks.
  • Windows can be an open invitation to thieves -protect them with metal bars or grilles.
  • Improve security for your diesel and fertiliser.


  • Farmhouses are often in isolated locations and can be vulnerable to crime if not properly secured.
  • Make sure that doors are kept locked - even when you are on the premises.
  • Fit locks to all ground floor windows.
  • Make sure doors and windows are well maintained and in a good state of repair.
  • Fit mortice deadlocks that comply with the British Standards to all external doors and reinforce with locking bolts.
  • Investing in timers that turn lights on and off inside the house if you go out at night and consider installing security lighting outside.
  • Consider fitting an alarm.


  • A secure perimeter around your fields and outbuildings will help deter thieves from targeting livestock, vehicles and implements.
  • Check fences and hedges to identity weak spots that could provide unauthorised access to criminals or vehicles and secure where necessary.
  • Consider restricting access at your entrance to prevent unwelcome vehicles entering. Consider a gate alarm or barrier system.

Preventing theft from farms

  • Ensure gates are secured at both ends.
  • Reverse or cap hinges and use good quality chains and padlocks.
  • Install security lighting around yards, outbuildings and isolated locations.
  • Consider installing perimeter alarms, where practical.
  • If you have gateways or access points that are not in regular use place a barrier such as a tree trunk or concrete block across the entrance.

Machinery and tools

  • Machinery and tools are very valuable to thieves so try and secure your property.
  • Lock or immobilise vehicles and equipment when not in use. Remove keys from cars, tractors and other vehicles left unattended.
  • Avoid leaving machinery in isolated locations or fields - particularly near roads - where they can be removed without attracting attention.
  • Visibly mark your machinery and tools - this not only acts as a deterrent to thieves but also helps the police reunite stolen property to the rightful owners if it is recovered.
  • Keep a list of tools, together with serial numbers and any identifying marks. You can do this at
  • Keep tools locked away when you are not using them. As well as being a target for thieves they can also be used to access your secured property.
  • For machinery and vehicles such as tractors and quad bikes consider having these items fitted with a tracking device or tagging system.
  • Items such as quad bikes, sit on lawn mowers, rotivators etc are very desirable to thieves.
  • Consider shackling them together or chain to a hitch secured to the ground or strong fabric of a building making them difficult to remove.
  • Visibly mark all equipment.

In an emergency please call 999, otherwise please call 101 (the national police non emergency number).