Farmers avoid high costs easily with site security from Heras

The yard is traditionally very open and accessible. But it is also a place where all kinds of valuable machinery, systems, vehicles and tools can be found. Increasingly, criminals therefore know how to find their way to the countryside. Find out how Heras helps agricultural businesses keep unwanted guests off the farmyard and avoid high costs.


Agricultural businesses are increasingly the target of burglaries and thefts. Research by the Centre for Crime Prevention and Safety (CCV) also shows that one in five farmers experience feelings of fear and insecurity as a result of burglaries, thefts and yard encroachment. Although the recent wave of burglaries received a lot of attention, it came as no surprise to us. Just as it is not news to most agricultural businesses. Our experts regularly visit gardeners, livestock farmers, agriculturists and contractors. During those conversations, the growing number of burglaries and thefts in the countryside and the feelings of insecurity that many people experience have been discussed for much longer.

Everything loose and attached
Right now, extremely expensive GPS systems are in high demand. Farmers use this equipment to work their land very accurately. These systems can easily cost 15,000 to 20,000 euros. But we see that criminals are also after other things. They are targeting anything and everything. From hand tools to ride-on mowers, agricultural vehicles to fuel. Burglars are extremely brazen and take their time walking around the premises and looking in sheds to see what they can get. Incidentally, the stolen items are often not even the biggest problem. The cost of business interruption can be much greater. For example, one of our sales advisers, Marc-Jan Muis, recently spoke to the owner of a contracting company whose entire fleet was idle. Thieves had drilled holes in the fuel tanks of his vehicles to steal diesel.

Day trippers looking around
What we also hear is that many people see the farmyard as an extension of the public road. Agricultural entrepreneurs regularly encounter strangers on their property. This is not to say that these people have immediate ill intentions, but hardworking farmers do not want day trippers looking around either. Moreover, it reinforces the feelings of insecurity and vulnerability experienced by some agricultural entrepreneurs.

Animal activists
Activists form a third category of unwanted visitors. Organisations such as LTO Netherlands have been warning for some time about activists who set their sights on a farm to make their point. Where this can lead was seen in Boxtel in 2019. Over 100 activists then occupied a farm to draw attention to animal suffering. Such actions disrupt daily operations and can also lead to unsafe situations and consequential damage.

Optimal site security with Heras
Heras is regularly invited by agricultural entrepreneurs. Farmers often only contact us after an incident has occurred, usually because the insurer asks for security to be scaled up. Or because it suddenly turns out that the insurer has changed the requirements for the perimeter fence and the damage is not covered.

As experts in perimeter protection, Heras regularly helps entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector secure their yards. We do this using the Heras Security Model. We start by determining the security needs, after which we map out the most relevant threat scenarios. We then place these scenarios along the five different elements of our Security Model: demarcate, deter, detect, delay and controlled security. We then look at which elements best match the threat scenarios that the entrepreneur absolutely wants to avoid.

One outcome of such an analysis according to the Heras Security Model could be a combination of site fencing and an electric gate with access control such as Access. With Access, you provide very controlled access. For example, Access ensures that your fence gate opens automatically at 7am in the morning and closes automatically again at 7pm. And if there are people – family members, employees, suppliers – who may enter the premises when the gate is closed, the electronic access system allows them to easily open the gate with their smartphone.

How high should your gate be?
Fortunately, to cover security risks, insurers do not expect a 2-metre-high fence to be erected around the business. What matters most is a clear yard boundary. Therefore, a fence 1.25 or 1.50 metres high is often sufficient. Discuss with your insurer what requirements there are for your property fence. This way, you can be sure you won’t get another nasty surprise after a burglary or theft.

Think about the security of your property in time
Do you operate in the agricultural sector? And do you want to prevent burglars from making off with your things? Then don’t wait until it’s too late and let Heras help you think about the optimum security for your premises.