Stepping up rural property security
An increasing number of people leaving suburbia for a rural lifestyle get upset to learn that rural thieves are as active as the ones they left behind.
Crime prevention consultants say that criminals who prey on rural properties are often the same ones who steal in town.
They point out that rural thieves seek the usual house contents of value but have the added easy pickings of farm equipment, machinery, livestock and wellfilled freezers. Add to this twoand four-wheel bikes and a rural property can be a bonanza.
Police experience shows
that bikes are always top of the hit list, especially for dope-growers with plots in the bush that need regular servicing.
As in all crime, if there were no buyers for stolen items, there would be no criminals.
You have to wonder who would buy cheap chainsaws, spray units and calfeterias from unknown sources but people do.
The old Kiwi rural culture of not locking doors, gates, sheds and now bikes has to change, say police. People on lifestyle blocks need to be more vigilant and be ‘‘nosy parkers’’ checking anything out of the ordinary going on around them, especially at holiday times.
Lifestylers make easy for thieves.
Houses are paddocks apart, surrounded by trees and people don’t always talk to each other. So Rural Neighbourhood Support Groups need to be more proactive, to keep an eye on each other’s properties.
Note down registration numbers of strange cars with
it occupants looking for lost dogs.
Ask strangers at neighbours’ properties if they need any help, if you know those neighbours are at work. Asking for some identification is basic common sense. But do it carefully.
Police advise avoiding confrontation; you don’t know if they have weapons in their car.
Don’t threaten strangers with guns, no matter how tempting it may be.
Keeping a savage guard dog is no answer as it risks injury to innocent people for which you the owner will be responsible.
Professional thieves easily sub- due dogs with narcotic meat. So teach your dog not to accept food from anyone other than you.
Specialist security companies now offer a wide choice of security alarms for rural buildings, vehicles and gateways.
The gateway alarms can alert owners when visitors arrive and the message can be relayed long distances.
It’s also possible to video the arrival of your guests, invited or not, and this information can be stored on your home computer for later analysis or transferred to your mobile phone.
Dr CLIVE DALTON