Archive for Downsizer For an ethical approach to consumption
 


       Downsizer Forum Index -> Finance and Property
wellington womble

Securing a field

My adopted field has been broken into. It has 8 foot metal gates, which they lifted off the hinges and opened as though they were one gate. They broke open my caravan with a crowbar and nicked my tent, and tried and failed with another van on the property. They missed the garage and other storage, which are tucked away a bit, I think. All very tidy, no damage and shut up neatly again. Ignored all the scrap metal lying around. Could have been a lot worse.

So, how can make it less attractive? I don't live there and it is rather secluded. There is nothing valuable stored there (the caravans are old and scruffy) it has fake CCTV. Obviously the gate hinge needs turning to prevent another lifting incident, but really, if they want to get in then they will. Current ideas include

- nasty, hissy geese. Except I'd have to put up with them and I don't go there every day.

- putting up a sign which says 'Womble's maggot farm' or similar.

- greasing the the gates

- buying a cow with horns and putting up a sign saying 'bull in field' Possibly with a cartoon style cow-shaped dent in something metal easily visible from the gate

- some kind of infra red triggered gunshot recording when the gate is approached.

Ideas welcome. It's not so much about security, but more about making it less of a target.
frewen

I think I'd go with geese.

I would be cross
Mad
wellington womble

Not really, it's just puzzling. There are various strimmers and mowers, which they either didn't find or didn't take. I suspect didn't find, so they didn't look very hard. They got my caravan open (the door is really ropey. It probably didn't need a crow bar!) but not the other - really, how hard is it to get an old caravan open? They ignored a sizeable amount of metal which would have gone for scrap. But they left all the doors closed again and there is not so much as a skid mark! And why not just take the caravan?

It seems very amateurish, but the gates were heavy and solid and hardly anything was taken, when there were things worth some money in plain view. I wouldn't have thought kids would get the gate off, and would have done more damage. Not nearly so neat.

I won't miss the tent overly, hardly ever used it. I'm actually in the process of buying some tools, so if the local toe rags have been for a look and found the place wanting, that works in my favour.

My biggest concern is that thieves may target it, leave it open and I will turn up to find some of the local travellers have moved in - there is a large population locally. I suppose I should just get some animals so I have to go every day. I don't really want the commitment at the moment, though.
Rob R

There are alarm systems that can be set to alert you and/or the police if it's broken into, but I'm guessing they'll be cost prohibitive. It sounds like a bunch of lads on the way home from the pub/park to me. A bit of razor wire (or electric) on the gate might help.
Hairyloon

There are alarm systems that can be set to alert you and/or the police if it's broken into, but I'm guessing they'll be cost prohibitive.

They really ought not be: how sophisticated is the computer in a 10 mobile phone these days?
But there is AFAIK no easy way to connect it to things and programme it to use them.
Cathryn

I think you've cultivated the right attitude. My sister has had problems with land she owns and doesn't live close to.

Have you thought of asking the police for ideas?
Mistress Rose

Do you have Countrywatch in your area? They produce some good signs which suggest thieves are being watched, and they also have a network of local country people to keep an eye on things. We get alerts of a lot of break ins where nothing is taken. No idea why; were disturbed, nothing they want etc. If it was potential thieves, they now know there is nothing there worth taking, but I would suggest a very secure lock up if you want to leave tools there, and try not to leave things like chainsaws or portable power tools as they are the sort of things that get pinched.

Turn the hinges so the gate can't be lifted off. Barbed wire fencing and on top of any climbable gates with rabbit mesh at the bottom so they can't get a foothold also helps.

Upsetting for you. It upsets us every time we have an intruder in our private bit of woodland too, and even worse if they pinch something.
Treacodactyl

The best way to protect your stuff is to not leave it there. Your local police may be helpful but in many places they don't seem bothered and in the unlikely event of catching the thieves not much will be done.

I wouldn't keep animals there as they'll just be a target. You can chain up high value items but with powerful cordless tools even very expensive chains and locks only take a few moments to cut.

I'm not sure of the legality of razor wire. I understand your concerns about people moving onto the land, although they wouldn't wait for a thief to brake in they'd do it themselves.

Obviously sort the gate, provided there isn't an easy way around it. I would wonder if a removable bollard would help prevent people moving on?
dpack

police advice
countrywatch
secure gate to deter entry by vehicle
alarm mine van door/likely pathways/etc (bang from cover maybe 30 m away)
dont store any valuables on site

try to find a trusty local to "vermin"shoot at random times day or night

signage for no valuables left on site
Ty Gwyn

Maybe they thought you were growing cannabis on this secluded plot,with them greenhouses.
bibbster

If the gate hinges are dropped onto 'bolts', take one off and re fix it upside down with the gate in situ....that way they cant just 'lift' the gates off!!
wellington womble

We will be turning the gate hinges (not a job I can do on my own). The rest of it is enclosed with Holly and blackthorn, so is fairly secure.

There are no valuables stored on site at the moment, but if I want to work the land, I will need to store tools there. I have no outdoor storage in my current rented property. I have CCTV signs and fake cameras. I wonder if some sort of webcam set up would work?

The police are not interested at all. They were hopeless - suggested I pop in at 3am in the morning, as I would have an extra hours sleep that night (and do what exactly? Take on all three of them myself?!) or move one on the vans into the gateway and let the tyres down (like that would be hard to move for them! Just impossible for me!). I've since heard our local PCSO is good though, so will try him at some stage.

A bollard might be a good idea, especially in front of the garage where it's not easily visible. I may also fence the garages off so they look like they belong to the gardens behind. I'll look at some stealth storage too. I reckon a 'secret compartment' where things are hidden will be most effective. They'll get in if they want to, I just want to make the place as unattractive as possible and not worth bothering with, rather than a load of expensive security which suggests you have something to hide.
12Bore

For some years I have been considering forming a group or snipers for hire.
Initially I think that we would use paintball guns for a first call-out, escalating the armoury as required...
tahir

For some years I have been considering forming a group or snipers for hire.
Initially I think that we would use paintball guns for a first call-out, escalating the armoury as required...


Shouldn't you start with spud guns?
onemanband

There are alarm systems that can be set to alert you and/or the police if it's broken into, but I'm guessing they'll be cost prohibitive.
They really ought not be: how sophisticated is the computer in a 10 mobile phone these days?
But there is AFAIK no easy way to connect it to things and programme it to use them.

Search "GSM autodialler" They use a prepaid SIM card. IRO 90+ compared to 30+ for landline autodialler.
I assume WW's land doesn't have mains electric nor phone line so any alarm system would have to be battery operated. Excluding the autodialler you could get a half decent set-up for a few hundred, but it will only be as good as the person changing/charging the batteries.
Treacodactyl

I'm not sure an alarm that dials you would be much use. The police will not be interested and I doubt WW would want to go to the field in the middle of the night if someone sets it off - I wouldn't. Something that sets off a loud alarm might scare off the odd petty thief if there are neighbours. onemanband

I'm not sure an alarm that dials you would be much use. The police will not be interested and I doubt WW would want to go to the field in the middle of the night if someone sets it off - I wouldn't. Something that sets off a loud alarm might scare off the odd petty thief if there are neighbours.

Yes the alarm should scare them off empty handed, but an autodialler means you know the moment it is set off. Once you have checked it is not a false alarm you can notify the police much earlier and re-secure the property quicker. It would also prevent pissing off the neighbours with false alarms you are unaware off.
Nick

Have it dial a phone in the shed. (Make it a cheap one, tho). Treacodactyl

I'm not sure an alarm that dials you would be much use. The police will not be interested and I doubt WW would want to go to the field in the middle of the night if someone sets it off - I wouldn't. Something that sets off a loud alarm might scare off the odd petty thief if there are neighbours.

Yes the alarm should scare them off empty handed, but an autodialler means you know the moment it is set off. Once you have checked it is not a false alarm you can notify the police much earlier and re-secure the property quicker. It would also prevent pissing off the neighbours with false alarms you are unaware off.

So you get an alert and pop down a dark wood in the night to check?

If you're lucky they've gone, taking whatever they fancy with them.

Edit to add, many cheap alarms these days will tell if the alarm has been triggered, so you'll be aware of it going off if you're not there.
onemanband

many cheap alarms these days will tell if the alarm has been triggered, so you'll be aware of it going off if you're not there.

Yeh, next time you go there. What if you don't go there for a week ?
It's peace of mind - if you haven't had that phone call you know everything is ok.
12Bore

For some years I have been considering forming a group or snipers for hire.
Initially I think that we would use paintball guns for a first call-out, escalating the armoury as required...

Shouldn't you start with spud guns?

100mm cannon, and a bag of King Edwards? Very Happy
Nick

Set up some movement sensitive lighting. Must be possible to have it powerd by solar and battery. Thieves are generally lazy and will go somewhere easier or safer so a light will put many of them off. In reality, y can't make it 100% secure, and the more security you add! the more it suggests there's nickable stuff there. wellington womble

I agree. I think the more security you put in (beyond the basics) makes you more of a target. I'm much more interested in being unattractive, rather than impregnable!

I could run a cable down there. The land belongs to a terraced house, and the field at at the end of all the gardens. I have access to an outdoor plug socket, and I could run a cable down the garden. The house is rented, but owned by my mother who is happy with that, so long as I put in a sub meter so as not to annoy the tenant and make sure the cable is safe. It would be useful anyway sooner or later, so I'd guess I'd better figure out how to do that, next.

What a learning curve having land is!
Nick

I'm much more interested in being unattractive, rather than impregnable!

You'll go a long way.
john of wessex

Land Mines?? Mistress Rose

If you run a cable, I would do it properly and put in armoured cable and where it can't be hit by any gardening work. Rob R

I'm not sure an alarm that dials you would be much use. The police will not be interested and I doubt WW would want to go to the field in the middle of the night if someone sets it off - I wouldn't. Something that sets off a loud alarm might scare off the odd petty thief if there are neighbours.

There are also sevices available where a private security guard will come out and check, 24/7.
Treacodactyl

I'm not sure an alarm that dials you would be much use. The police will not be interested and I doubt WW would want to go to the field in the middle of the night if someone sets it off - I wouldn't. Something that sets off a loud alarm might scare off the odd petty thief if there are neighbours.

There are also sevices available where a private security guard will come out and check, 24/7.

I expect there are. I doubt the costs would be worth while and for a burglary the bugler will be long gone and if someone tries to move onto the land their will be nothing the guard can do about it.

Another option I had though of WW, is there anywhere more secure you can store your equipment? Rent an attached garage, self store, kept with family or a friend?
Rob R

I'm not sure an alarm that dials you would be much use. The police will not be interested and I doubt WW would want to go to the field in the middle of the night if someone sets it off - I wouldn't. Something that sets off a loud alarm might scare off the odd petty thief if there are neighbours.

There are also sevices available where a private security guard will come out and check, 24/7.

I expect there are. I doubt the costs would be worth while and for a burglary the bugler will be long gone and if someone tries to move onto the land their will be nothing the guard can do about it.

Another option I had though of WW, is there anywhere more secure you can store your equipment? Rent an attached garage, self store, kept with family or a friend?

I don't see why. Confused Unless there's nothing to pinch, in which case you wouldn't need the service.

The main value would be in stopping people entering in the first place, though.
wellington womble

I'm much more interested in being unattractive, rather than impregnable!

You'll go a long way.

Yeah, serious ambition!

I think I can manage without an alarm - there is nothing valuable at present there, and while there will be, I think I will hide it. I can store portable tools elsewhere but not the mower. I haven't bought it yet, so plenty of time to think of something. I will fix the gates and get some lights and see how things go. I can probably store some things elsewhere but it will be a right pain. I do realise the point of security is to be inconvenient, but there are limits! And anyway, I can't really store the mower elsewhere.

If I did get an alarm, it would probably just be audible. I am on good terms with the neighbours, so they would let me know and have a look for me. They also have garages with tools in just this side of the gate, so it's in everyone's interest anyway.

The difficult thing is that I have no background in this sort of thing. Not a clue about wiring or fencing or fixing gates etc. tricky to start from scratch with only the internet for guidance!
Nicky Colour it green

I would seriously consider carting your tools around in the car if you can.

or you could make a hidden bunker or something i spose

The fact they took the tent - could they be homeless?
I had the window of my car broken, and a (nothing special) coat taken off the back seat - other things in the car were left - police said it was typical of a dosser, just wanted to be warm.

Obviously the new window cost me more than the coat. Sometimes you wonder if it would be better not to lock up
onemanband

I agree. I think the more security you put in (beyond the basics) makes you more of a target.

Only if the security is visible or stands out.
I think warning signs advertising your security measures are a bad idea.
Tall fencing/trellis/spikey plants will not attract attention like barbed wire or security fencing.
I also think fake alarms/cctv are also a bad idea. If you're going to entice burglars then you may as well have the real thing.

Worth investing in decent padlocks especially if used outside. Cheap padlocks aswell as being weak, don't last long outside. I've got Abus locks that work fine after many years outside.
wellington womble

I was thinking of a false wall in the garage and keeping stuff behind it. If I left all the brambles at the back, no one would be sure how far back the building went. I though of maybe shelves full of junk on castors, with a bollard behind, so you couldn't get the mower out even if you did find it.

As well as a lot of other less practical thunderbird-style set ups!
onemanband

Hiding stuff is good.
Trying to hide the mower (ride on?) maybe pointless. If somebody wants the mower they'll more than likely seen you use it and know it's there.
Bollard won't stop thieves lifting mower over it - they'll lift a motorcycle over car in a garage. Suggest ground anchor and padlock and chain.
12Bore

Set up some movement sensitive lighting. Must be possible to have it powerd by solar and battery. Thieves are generally lazy and will go somewhere easier or safer so a light will put many of them off. In reality, y can't make it 100% secure, and the more security you add! the more it suggests there's nickable stuff there.
and a concealed trail camera.
mark

Sometimes making a gate secure makes what is inside more vulnerable.

For example many urban parks lock their gates at night - teenagers or those intent on criminal activity still climb in but know once they are in no adults or dog walkers or others can arrive with out undoing the gates and announcing their presence. so they are free to get up to mischief without interruption ! When the gate is not secured they need to keep a lookout for dog walkers , owners , everyone!

So it may be that making public access easier can make crime less likely.

it is no use having movement sensitive lighting or alarms if the field they are is locked and private.
Rob R


it is no use having movement sensitive lighting or alarms if the field they are is locked and private.

Where else would you have an alarm? If the public were allowed in they'd be forever setting it off...
mark


it is no use having movement sensitive lighting or alarms if the field they are is locked and private.

Where else would you have an alarm? If the public were allowed in they'd be forever setting it off...

Lighting - yes you want them to set it off - shows it works!!

Alarm - not for movement outside only for break in attempts to van!
Rob R


Alarm - not for movement outside only for break in attempts to van!

That wouldn't stop the travellers entering, though!
mark


Alarm - not for movement outside only for break in attempts to van!

That wouldn't stop the travellers entering, though!

No - Ithinki te challenge is to prevent vehicles entering (travellers, wagons to carry away your stuff) but to allow pedestrians as people traffic and openness to the public deters crime .
dpack

for area denial in relation to folk parking vans etc a patchwork of pits and mounds done with a digger is quite effective ,
holes /heaps about 1/2 a cubic metre on staggered 3m centres covering the entire area with extra banks/ditches as required

not convenient for mowing etc but fine in coppice or even orchard etc

this method has been effective on rawcliffe ings (it was a traditional pull up but a few messed it up for those who used it politely now and again ) and cyc got the digger in even though they dont own the land (if they did own it they would probably sell it for housing but it has a complicated history and is probably still legally old style strip fields and common)

a simple ditch/bank or large rocks are easy to fill/bridge or shift but the massed holes and lumps is impossible to drive over and a lot of work to flatten enough to create a park up pitch .

it also creates a variety of microclimates which are good for bio diversity or gardening style growing
Mistress Rose

We have a locking post to stop people driving into the woods. It was pulled out once, so we have put more concrete round it. Useful for stopping vehicles getting in.

A method travellers round here use is to cut a chain round a gate then leave. If there is no reaction within a day or two, they come back and park up. They found the gate unlocked, and it wasn't them that unlocked it, honest, and they know that no owner is going to appear suddenly if the gate isn't noticed for a few days.
wellington womble

That's what worries me about the gate being off. Even cheaper than chucking on a chain, isn't it? I'm not really there enough to be a deterrent, although I will start popping in more often now.

I kind of agree about locking public places, but it isn't public! It isn't on the way to anywhere, and the entrance is tucked down at the end of a lane - if you put an alarm just in front of the gate, no one would have any reason to be there other than to trespass. Actually, the gate is set back a bit, too. If I put an alarm right in front of the gate, none should be there unless they are up to no good.

I still think the cow idea is a good one!
Rob R

I'm imaging lots of people traipsing through mark's house now Smile

Regardless, even if it were a public space, alarming the gate would prevent vehicles entering, not that I think it's appropriate in this case. .
Rob R


I still think the cow idea is a good one!

thumbright
       Downsizer Forum Index -> Finance and Property
Page 1 of 1
Home Home Home Home Home