Farm security? We've never seen it so bad as organised criminals move in

Farming | Published:

Livestock rustling is becoming big business for organised criminals with sheep thefts being carried out in ever greater numbers, according to latest statistics released by the rural insurer NFU Mutual.

Jennifer Marlow, ORP Director

According to their data, in January 2019, 143 sheep were snatched from fields at Pulford, Wrexham, and in April, 63 Texel cross in-lamb were stolen from a farm above Tremeirchion, Denbighshire.

According to figures released a short while ago, farm animals worth £2.5m were stolen across Britain in 2018 – a 11 per cent rise in two years.

The rural insurer has said in press statements that it was becoming increasingly alarmed at the scale of the thefts.

Tim Price is quoted as saying, “A generation ago, rustling was typically a local crime involving a couple of lambs or half a dozen geese being taken ‘for the pot’. Now it’s an organised crime with dozens or even hundreds of sheep worth thousands of pounds being taken in a single raid.”

We have been established since 1998 – ORP Surveillance is a Shropshire-based company that specialises in the design, installation and maintenance of CCTV and security systems.

When it comes to farm security, we have never seen it so bad. The sharp increase in farm thefts, we believe, has seen a jump in demand for our access control systems over the past 18 months.

As well as alarms, cameras and intercoms at farm entrances, automatic number plate recognition systems are being installed by anxious farmers.

We’re also seeing wireless cameras being installed in remote farm buildings.


Farms are some of the most challenging sites to secure due to their size and often spread out nature. In the past there were two ways to overcome these problems; underground ducts and overhead catenaries. Both of these solutions are expensive and prone to failure due to weather conditions and small animals who chew through underground cables!

These days there is a different way around the problem – wireless. Forget the old analogue radio video transmitters with their grainy images that went fuzzy when you used your microwave. Modern radio links use the same technology as your broadband WiFi allowing up to eight (and in some cases many more) HD quality pictures to be transmitted simultaneously via a single low cost radio link at distances of over four miles.

Jennifer Marlow, ORP Director


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