Farm theft

The rural nature of Lincolnshire means that farm theft is a real possibility.  There are prevention methods you could use to reduce the risk of becoming a victim.


  • Grazing animals are an easy target for a thief. Check the fields where animals are grazing daily if possible.
  • Keep hedges, fences and gates in good repair. Ditches form a natural barrier. Field gate hinges should have capping hinges so it is not easy to remove them.
  • Cattle grids should be removable and locked out of position when not in use. Use locking posts to obstruct large openings to yards etc.
  • Consider using closed circuit TV so you can watch animals in barns or yards from home. This can be especially useful during busy times like the lambing season.
  • If livestock is stolen, it is important that you can give us an accurate description. Eartags and horn brands help police to identify stock. Freeze branding, hot branding or tattooing your postcode will also help.
  • Take photographs of particularly valuable animals.

Machinery and tools

Try to secure or immobilise vehicles or equipment when not in use. If possible, remove machinery from fields, especially near roads.

  • Keep a record of the serial number, chassis and model numbers of machines.
  • Paint your name on valuable tarpaulins in letters at least one foot high. 
  • Use metal engravers to mark tools, vehicles and equipment with your postcode followed by the first two letters of your farm’s name. 
  • Keep tools and small pieces of machinery locked away. Do not leave them lying around.

Farm buildings

  • Store valuable equipment and tools in a secure building behind a strong locked door.
  • Use British Standard locks, good quality locking bars and high security padlocks. You can protect windows with metal bars. Lock outbuildings when you are not using them.
  • Fit outside security lights controlled by an automatic time-switch or infra-red beams that react to heat or movement.
  • Consider fitting an intruder alarm or CCTV to alert you to anything suspicious.


Farmhouses attract burglars because they are often large and in isolated places.

  • Fit British Standard deadlocks to all outside doors.  Reinforce with strong key-operated bolts.
  • Fit window locks on ground floor windows and those near flat roofs and drain pipes.
  • Install a security chain and wide-angle door viewer on your main door, so that you can see who is on the other side.
  • Consider a burglar alarm, but not instead of other more appropriate security methods
  • Keep shotguns and firearms securely locked and store ammunition separately. If you have to keep cash or jewellery in the house, a safe is a good idea.
  • Keep a record of your valuable possessions. Where possible, use a security marking device to mark them with your postcode followed by your house number or the first two letters of your farm’s name.  Read more on property marking.
  • Don’t advertise that you are not at home by leaving notes for traders, or garage doors open.
  • When your house is empty ask a neighbour or your local Farmwatch to keep an eye on your farm. And be prepared to do the same for them!

Report it

If you have been a victim of a burglary, call 101 or report it online.

If a burglary is in progress and you are in immediate danger, call 999.

More help and support

Contact our Crime Prevention Advisers

29 Jun 21 11:44 AM

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