Preventing solar farm theft

preventing solar farm theftWith global warming firmly on the agenda of British consumers for many years now, renewable energy is one of the UK’s fastest growing industries. The renewable energy market offers great opportunity for those interested in harnessing its power and many farm owners are converting large areas of previously agricultural land into solar farms.

However, unfortunately growing in tandem with solar farms has been a rise in agricultural theft, with some solar farms targeted by criminals. NFU Mutual stated in a recent report that last year rural crime cost the UK a total of £44.5m and the level of crime is “rising at its fastest rate since 2010”.

One example of devastating solar panel theft comes from Casewick Park, Lincolnshire. In March 2018, thieves stole around £50,000 worth of solar panels and inverters from a rooftop installation. Police reported their suspicions that a truck or large van would have had to have been used due to the sheer weight of all the components stolen in the raid.

Elsewhere, in Stratford thieves targeted a site at Drayton Manor Farm where hi-tech solar panels worth upwards of £45,000 were stolen. Once again, the police suspected that thieves must have used a lorry to steal the parts.

It was reported that Hampshire police were recently investigating a total of six incidents across Hampshire which included theft and criminal damage across solar farms in the area.

So how can we tackle the problem of solar farm theft? One way to do so is to make it as difficult as possible for criminals to make a quick get-away.

Using perimeter gates, fences or automatic rising kerbs can all prevent unauthorised access to vehicles, so too can automatic gates.

Whereas many burglaries are unplanned and opportunistic, the size and weight of solar panels and equipment often means that the crimes are planned in advance. This means that a site which is well secured is less likely to fall victim.

Gateway Automation provide a range of perimeter security systems to help businesses and individuals to secure their sites and also provides nationwide servicing and repairs to gates, barriers and other perimeter security equipment. To find out more, please contact us on 01522 68255 or take a look at our brochure which can be viewed here: http://www.gatewayautomation.co.uk/brochure/.

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