“Fuel thieves target rural farmers,” farmers warn

Leading rural insurer, NFU Mutual, has compiled a handy safety checklist to help keep your property safe this Christmas.

Rebecca Davidson, Rural Affairs Specialist at NFU Mutual, explained: “Thieves are stealing anything they can get their hands on and reselling for a profit – and high prices for diesel and fuel oil mean there is a black market. growing for stolen fuel.

“Fuel thieves scour the countryside looking for farm fuel tanks, parked vehicles, and even heating oil tanks that they can empty and resell on the contents. “

Register to our daily Farming Life Today newsletter

Newsletter cut through the noise

She continued, “It is a crime that often leaves a trail of destruction, as thieves will break valves and even puncture tanks, resulting in pollution as any remaining fuel seeps into the ground.

“Our claims data shows that the average cost of a diesel theft claim was £ 2,120 last year.

“The long winter nights and the holiday season, with the disruption of many people’s work and household routines, offer thieves the opportunity to operate invisibly. concluded.

As the insurer for three quarters of UK farmers, NFU Mutual has helped fight rural crime by investing £ 430,000 in carefully targeted safety initiatives this year.

This work includes sponsoring two trials of connected farms using LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) technology and sensors to detect threats and provide alerts and notifications when there is activity outside and when fuel tank levels change.

NFU Mutual Fuel Tank Safety Checklist:

Tank, content and location

– Record the number, location, storage capacity of tanks and date / time of tank filling and check levels regularly.

– If possible, place the tank where it can be seen from the house. Fuel tanks located far from buildings or homes are more vulnerable if they cannot be seen by occupants.

– Ideally, the tanks should be in a closed enclosure with secure access.

– Install a fuel tank alarm to warn you of an attack on the fuel tanks. Remote electronic fuel level gauges will sound an audible or monitored alarm if the fuel level in the tank suddenly drops or falls below a set level.

– Keep field and farmyard gates closed and locked, and block exit points that are not in use.

– Activate anti-intrusion alarm systems, which may have a local siren or remote monitored signaling.

– Install security lighting to illuminate any suspicious activity.

– Use lockable fuel tank caps.

– Keep tractors and motorized machinery locked and out of sight of public roads and trails when not in use to prevent thieves from emptying their fuel tanks.

– Check that your fuel gauge does not show irregularities in the fuel levels.

For more information on rural crime trends and tips visit www.nfumutual.co.uk/ruralcrime

About Keneth T. Graves

Check Also

Your farming community needs you more than ever, so why not volunteer

Register to our daily newsletter Farming Life Today Volunteers are an essential part of the …