Shutting the Gate: A Preliminary Study of Farm Crime Prevention Methods Used by the Police in Rural England and Wales


  • Alexander Nunns Hartpury University
  • Alison P. Wills Hartpury University
  • V. Tamara Montrose Independent Researcher



farm crime, crime prevention, police, community, England and Wales, rural


Rural crime is an issue for farms across the United Kingdom. The costs of farm crime are at their highest level in eight years and impact on both farmers and consumers.  Past research has examined farmers' attitudes towards farm crime prevention but the attitudes of the police have been little explored. Police forces in rural England and Wales were surveyed about their views on farm crime prevention (e.g. prevention methods used, efficacy of methods, future of farm crime prevention). Traditional and community-based prevention methods such as regular patrols, proactive operations, prevention initiatives and community education were widely used, as were technological prevention methods such as CCTV. Just over half of respondents perceived these methods to be effective though concerns were raised that their efficacy was affected by limited police resources. The majority of respondents felt that the future of farm crime prevention would involve better physical security, more CCTV and more crime prevention initiatives.