Step­ping up ru­ral prop­erty se­cu­rity

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

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

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