Category: Rural Crime

Farm Finance Specialists

Richmond Asset Finance are one of the UK’s leading brokers of farm finance for farmers in the north west including Yorkshire and Manchester.

We know that running a farm and looking at ways to minimise costs and increase your profits is not an easy task.

That is why UK farmers trust us to get them the best finance deal we can. Many farmers who we help have become repeat customers and friends.

They rely on us to arrange finance or loans for a range of agricultural assets – everything from chicken pullets, tractor finance to agricultural mortgages.

We can source great deals on almost every type of farm finance.

Farm Machinery Finance

Finance can be arranged for new or second hand farm machinery with no age limit*.

Whether you are looking to use hire purchase, lease or lease back agreements, we can advise you on the best options to secure the machinery you want.

Finance for machinery includes, but not limited to:

  • Tractors
  • Excavators
  • Combine Harvesters
  • Drilling & Planting Machinery
  • Cultivation Machinery
  • Grass Land Machinery

Tip for farm crime prevention

When winter is approaching and clocks go back an hour as British Summer Time officially ends, it is a good time for farmers to review their security.

Farms in the autumn and winter months are dark and secluded places and can prove an inviting target for thieves who will be looking to steal farm vehicles, fuel, tools and equipment.

Statistically, October and November are the two months of the year when police receive more reports of burglary than at any other time.

With their isolated countryside locations, farmhouses, outbuildings, barns, garages and sheds are all prey for would-be rural thieves, who use modern technology including drones, Google Earth and sat navs to pinpoint their entry and escape routes.

But there are a variety of measures you can take to protect your property, land and livestock and discourage potential thieves.


Fuel thieves often target farms under the cover of darkness when they are able to drain tanks within minutes if they are not properly protected.

Thieves use anything from basic plastic tubes to pumping apparatus to siphon off hundreds of litres of red diesel from tanks and farm machinery, causing huge financial loss and inconvenience for farmers.


To prevent theft, fit fuel bowsers with wheel clamps or hitch locks. Tanks should be housed in a secure location – within a shed (in line with regulations) or in a compound, such as a locked metal cage.

Consider fitting a remote fuel monitoring gauge and alarm system. Install movement sensors, CCTV and lighting around the tank.

Store machinery inside sheds using layers of security and ensure tractors are locked up at night. If machines must be kept outside, park with fuel caps against a fence or wall.

Lighting and CCTV cameras

Isolated farm buildings down dark lanes are easy for thieves to approach and hide in the darkness. Make sure you light up areas in and around your home and buildings.


Motion-sensor security lighting and CCTV cameras are a good crime prevention and detection tool. Thieves don’t want to be seen.

Install lighting and CCTV in access locations, vulnerable areas and around the perimeter of farm buildings, yards and houses. Consider audible and monitored intruder alarm systems.

With improving technology in this area and a reduction in the cost of CCTV systems, they can be bought for fairly modest sums. Many suppliers offer subscription services with text alert systems linked to mobile phones, tablets or computers, allowing you to monitor the farm 24/7 from anywhere in the world.

Farmers are embracing new technology involving infrared beams that set off voice warning systems and relay live footage to mobile phones.

Finance Options

Typical Finance Types, uses and descriptions

1. Farm Finance, Rural Finance

An all embracing term we use to describe all types of farm and agricultural finance we offer in the rural and country business sectors and which can also be described as Agricultural Finance, Equestrian Finance, Farm Finance, Land Finance and Horticultural Finance. Finance can be provided for holiday complexes, caravan parks, caravan sites, properties with agricultural restrictions, land, buildings, working farms, non-working farms, nurseries, garden centres, smallholdings, estates, fisheries, farm shops and generally all types of rural type situations.

2. Agricultural Loan, Loan for Agriculture, Loans for Agriculture

More commonly described as an Agricultural Mortgage, Mortgage for Agriculture, Agricultural Re-mortgage or Re-mortgage for Agriculture being a loan secured by a first charge over property in UK, England. In some cases a loan may be secured by way of a second charge over this type of property.

3. Bridging Loan, Bridging Finance

This is a short-term arrangement whereby a loan is secured either by way of a first charge or second charge on property in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. Usually, but not always, interest is rolled up or added to the account so that all the money is repaid by the end of the term, meaning that no monthly payments are made.

Tips for improving your HGV’s fuel efficiency

Whilst you can’t control the price of fuel, you can control the amount you use with these driving tips for better fuel efficiency.

HGVs can guzzle up fuel, which isn’t only bad for your business’ budget, but also for the environment.

HGV drivers can learn to improve their vehicle’s fuel efficiency by making a few simple changes to their driving habits, here’s how.

Use cruise control

Most modern HGVs are equipped with a cruise control function for keeping the vehicle running at a constant speed. Reducing unnecessary fluctuations using cruise control can help you to save a significant amount of fuel.

Plan the route

Careful route planning can help you to get from a to b quickly and efficiently, preventing you from using unnecessary fuel whilst getting lost and taking detours. It can also help you to avoid routes featuring sharp inclines which require more fuel to navigate.

Reduce speed

The speed that you drive at can have a significant impact on the amount of fuel that your HGV uses. Studies have shown that reducing your speed to an average of 50mph on the motorway can help to reduce fuel consumption by up to 20%!

Don’t idle

Whilst it may be tempting, particularly on very cold days, to keep your engine idling and your heater and radio switched on when you are stationery, this is one of the worst ways to waste fuel!

Avoid braking sharply

Hitting the brakes sharply and rapidly accelerating can both eat up fuel far faster than driving at consistent, steady speeds. Simply paying closer attention to what is happening ahead of you on the road and anticipating when to brake sooner can make for a smoother ride, use less fuel, and reduce the risk of an accident.

Sometimes, if you’re driving a very old HGV, then the most effective way of increasing its fuel efficiency is to upgrade to a newer model.

If you require financial help or advice with upgrading your HGV, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance by giving us a call on 0113 288 3277. We provide a range of flexible vehicle finance and asset finance services.

How to protect your tractor from theft

Your tractor is one of your farm’s most valuable and useful pieces of machinery, so it’s important to protect it from thieves.

Last year, rural crime in Britain hit a seven-year high, with theft of farm vehicles and livestock costing the UK £50m according to the insurance company NFU Mutual.

The report found that the sharp rise in rural crime was mainly caused by a huge increase in theft of tractors, quad bikes and farm vehicles, which rose by 26% between 2018 and 2019.

Tractors and other farm vehicles are often targeted by thieves because they have been left unsecured in an isolated and remote location, making them easy targets.

A stolen tractor is not only very expensive to replace, it will also cost your farm business in downtime as well as causing you a headache.

Don’t leave your tractor or other valuable farm vehicles unsecured, use the following tips to protect them from criminals.

Always store your tractor indoors

Where possible, always store your tractor in a locked building. Not only will this make it harder for thieves to access it, it will also help to maintain its condition and extend its lifespan.

Secure your boundaries

Don’t leave your perimeter open to thieves, install a high fence to make access more difficult. If your property is too large to install a boundary around the whole thing, then ensure that the area or building that your tractor is stored in is secured by a fence.

Use a wheel clamp

Always fit a wheel lock on your tractor when it is not in use to prevent thieves from driving it away.

Fit an alarm and tracking device

Fitting your tractor with a motion-detector alarm is an effective way of deterring criminals and preventing theft.

Security mark your vehicles

Use a service like DataTag to get a unique security ID to mark your tractor with, making it easy to identify if it is ever stolen.

If you require help or advice with financing a new tractor, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance. We provide a range of flexible agricultural finance services to help you to grow your business. To discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

Tips for protecting your farm against rural crime

As the cost of rural crime continues to soar, it’s important that farmers take steps to secure their valuables from criminals.

Agricultural crime is a widespread problem faced by farmers up and down the country. Criminals and organised gangs target farms due to their large size and remote location, stealing valuable farm tools, equipment, vehicles and even livestock, with devastating consequences for farmers during what is already a difficult time for the industry.

Take these five basic steps to help prevent your farm from becoming a victim of rural crime.

Lock all valuables away securely– All valuables including tools, equipment, machinery and vehicles should be locked away out of sight when not in use. Large machinery and vehicles should be kept in secure farm buildings, and valuable tools should be kept in a locked toolbox. To ensure that they are secure, farm buildings should be regularly maintained, and doors and windows should be kept closed and locked to prevent easy access and protect from opportunist criminals.

Install security systems to all farm buildings– Farm buildings that contain valuables should be fitted with security lights and systems including CCTV and intruder alarms to deter criminals.

Mark and register all your valuable machinery, equipment and vehicles– Clearly marking all your valuable assets can deter criminals and improve the chances of your items being identified and returned to you if they are ever stolen. There are a variety of different marking solutions available including UV marking pens, engraving, etching, and labels. Once you have marked your property, register it on the Immobilise website. Immobilise is used by police forces up and down the country to return stolen items to their rightful owners.

Immobilise or lock vehicles– Immobilise farm vehicles using wheel clamps, steering locks or ground anchors when they are not in use to make them more difficult to steal.

Secure boundaries– The remote location of many farms leaves them particularly vulnerable to criminals. Securing your boundaries and making access difficult using high fences, earth banks and ditches, or reinforced gates can make your property more private and secure to deter criminals.

Security systems, durable gating and heavy duty padlocks are all relatively small investments when you consider what is at stake without them.

If you require agricultural financeto help replace stolen farm equipment or vehicles, get in touch with our team here at Richmond Asset Finance by calling 0113 288 3277 to discuss your requirements.

What effect could a no-deal Brexit have on the farming economy?

As a leaked cabinet letter warns of the chaos a no-deal Brexit could cause, we’ve looked at how it could affect the farming economy.

Earlier this month a leaked letter from cabinet secretary Sir Mark Sedwill warned that a no-deal Brexit could cause a 10% increase in food prices and a devastating UK-only recession worse than that of 2008.

This news came just days after the EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier warned that a no-deal Brexit is becoming more likely “day after day”.

As parliament currently work to try to stave off a no-deal outcome, we’ve looked at how this result could affect the farming economy.

The affects of a no-deal Brexit on the farming economy

Agriculture employs 3.8 million people and generates £113bn for Britain’s economy according to The UK in a Changing Europe. A no-deal Brexit is likely to throw the whole industry into turmoil, not just negatively affecting the farming economy, but Britain’s wider economy too.

Just a few of the potentially devastating effects a no-deal Brexit could have on UK farming include:

  • A ban on the export of animal products from the UK to the EU until the UK is granted approval.
  • Uncertainty over future import/export tariffs.
  • A ban on exporting organic products as the EU will no longer recognise UK organic certification bodies until approval is granted. Organic exports account for around 20% of the dairy industry’s total organic sales.

The process of applying for approval for export is not a quick one and can take months, during which time many farms would suffer significant losses that could put them out of business.

National Farmer’s Union president Minette Batters has warned that “a no-deal Brexit would be disastrous, not only for our farmers but for the public too” and that it should be “avoided at all costs”.

Why Is The Machine Finance Market Growing?

Machines are critical to growth in the manufacturing sector but they are often expensive and can eat into business profits without some form of financial help.

Traditionally business owners turn to the bank to provide straightforward business loans to help if there is insufficient cash in the business to purchase machines. Even if there is enough cash to buy a machine, a loan can be a more sensible way to buy equipment particularly if there is risk attached in making large investments as there often is in business. However, business loans from banks also come at a cost and interest rates can be high.

Having multiple loans can also leave a business vulnerable in a downturn and restrict any cash flow available to grow the business. Machine finance is growing in popularity because it unlocks funding when you need it.

So if your business requires a new machine that will cut down the amount of manual labour required to get jobs done such as a CNC machine, machine finance can help you acquire that machinery at a minimum upfront cost.

This means you get the benefit of improved efficiency and profitability while spreading the cost. It can also be tax efficient now that the government has increased the annual investment allowance. So it comes as no surprise that the machine finance sector has grown 9% year on year.

Rural Crime

National rural crime plan launched to protect communities

TWO of Britain’s largest national crime-fighting organisations have joined forces to crack down on rural criminals.

Launching the initiative between Crimestoppers and the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network at the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) rural crime conference in Birmingham today (Wednesday), Crimestoppers chief executive Mark Hallas said a ‘coalition approach’ was needed to tackle the growing problem.

The campaign will focus on raising awareness of rural crime, the signs to look out for and how information can be passed to Crimestoppers anonymously. It will be the first time that both charities have worked together nationally to tackle crime directly.

Rural crime costs the farming industry millions of pounds each year.

Mr Hallas, said: “Crime within the rural communities is a prevalent issue that should not be ignored and should instead be tackled by those who can help bring the number of incidents down.

“Crimestoppers is committed to supporting those affected by rural crime and we hope that by pairing up with our partner organisations, and with the help of the public, we can start to bring those responsible to justice.”

Both organisations, the police, public and businesses, including farmers, will share information via a national website and communication system called Rural Alert, an addition to the national database and communication system Neighbourhood Alert, used by the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network.

Jim Maddan, Chairman for the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network, added: “As technology advances so do criminals and we need to work together to be one step ahead. Criminals do not stop committing crime because they are travelling into another county or police force area.

“By adopting a national approach, boundaries disappear and information becomes more apparent. By sharing the information on what we do know about this type of crime, the public and businesses can really have an impact on helping the police to catch the small minority of people affecting many rural communities”.

The Neighbourhood Alert system is used by 10 police forces as well as several Fire and Rescue Services, Resilience Forums and local authorities.

Hundreds of thousands of people have registered for free via one of the 70 sites that use the Alert system.

In the last year over 20,000 farmers have joined a Farm or Country Watch website powered by Alert.

Rural Alert gives farmers and any rural community the opportunity to register free of charge, receive messages and report information.

For more information visit

[Farmers Guardian]

Website helps farmers in fight against rural crime

The Ulster Farmers’ Union has welcomed the launch of a new rural crime website aimed at helping farmers quickly raise the alarm about stolen goods via digital and social media.

UFU Deputy President Barclay Bell said: “Rural crime continues to be a significant issue for farmers. The unfortunate reality is that farmers and producers throughout the island of Ireland are having valuable livestock and machinery stolen on a regular basis which has a devastating impact on farm families and businesses. There is evidence that one of the most powerful tools in fighting and preventing crime is communication and the new website has been designed to create a network of communications using web and smartphone technology.

“We suspect that many items are being ‘stolen to order’ and that there is a very real issue of items being stolen in Northern Ireland and then crossing the border into the Republic of Ireland and vice versa. There is evidence that often stolen items are stored for a while before possibly being shipped out of the country. It stands to reason, that this storage period presents the best window of opportunity for recovery, which is why it is vitally important to raise awareness of stolen goods as quickly and as widely as possible.

Cross Border

“The beauty of the Farmnet website is that it takes a cross border approach which, given that there is undeniable evidence of movement of stolen goods between North and South, means that farmers can raise the alarm and reach a large audience quickly. It also complements local rural text alert schemes and allows information to be shared without individuals being bombarded by text messages.”

The website is very easy to access and easy to use. Farmers throughout the island of Ireland can log onto the blog site and enter details of stolen items at anytime of the day or night to tell the entire rural community what they have lost. The website is easily viewed on a computer, tablet or smartphone.

These details can include a photograph, any distinctive markings or numbers and when and where the stolen property was last seen. The information can be viewed by all users who register and all entries are automatically posted to The Farmnet Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Anyone who believes they have seen any suspicious activity, such as vehicles and livestock being moved, can add their comment. Historic thefts can be put on retrospectively to encourage reports of possible sightings and share information after the incident.

There are also a number of recovered items in storage which need to be returned to their owners and the site will carry details of any unidentified property which is currently held by authorities.

Barclay Bell concluded: “The Farmnet website allows farmers to take advantage of advances in technology and become part of a virtual anti-crime network. The Ulster Farmers’ Union continues to work with the PSNI, NFU Mutual and other stakeholders to address this important issue and this new website is another useful tool to have in our rural crime fighting arsenal.”

Register on and be a part of this anti-crime network.