15 September 1995

Police demos aim to raise farm security

By Jeremy Hunt

NORTH-WEST farmers are being urged to undertake detailed security surveys in a new clamp-down on rural crime.

The NFU and Cheshire police have joined forces to stage two farm demonstrations, later this month, to improve farm security. A survey of both farms pinpoints locations and opportunities likely to attract criminals.

Parkgate House Farm, Saug-hall, near Chester, owned by Gerald Williams is one of the farms surveyed. Crime prevention officers recommend that yard security lighting should be updated, locks on buildings improved and yard signs erected to direct callers to a specific point. "We all get reps and callers in the yard. If we post signs telling people where to go it gives no one the old excuse for wandering through buildings on the pretext of trying to find someone," said Mr Williams.

He believed close circuit TV could soon become standard on farms and was considering installing a system that would enable outdoor cameras to relay pictures directly into his TV set. "If you are in the house and the dog barks or you hear something suspicious you can immediately check outside without risk of confrontation," he said.

Cheshires 284 miles of motorway makes the county highly accessible, says NFU county chairman Denis Parton. "Calf thefts are an increasing problem both from fields and from buildings. We have now fitted locks to all stock buildings and to our dairy and parlour. Everything is at risk these days.

"A lot of crime is planned and is not the work of the opportunist. If you spot a strange car or see someone behaving suspiciously, report it. A sighting today could prevent a crime tomorrow," he said.

The demonstrations are on Sept 25 (1.30pm) Parkgate House Farm, Saughall, Chester, and Sept 28 (1.30pm) White House Farm, Plumley, Knutsford. &#42

Gerald Williams… Farm security.