Two Welsh police forces are urging farmers to use low powered smart sensors as protection against farm thefts.
North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Andy Dunbobbin has backed the Future Farms Cymru project, led by the local police service’s rural crime team in partnership with their counterparts in Dyfed Powys.
It has involved showcasing technology running on long range wide area networks (LoRaWAN) at six demonstration farms in the region and on www.futurefarms.cymru website.
They are piggybacking the Welsh Government’s Farming Connect network of 16 farms across Wales where the LoRaWAN gateway devices are being trialled. The gateways have a small antenna that can be attached on farm buildings on farms, which can connect to sensors that collect data and rely it to dashboards on mobile phones and other devices. This can alert farmers to any thefts.
A spokesperson said that companies will be invited to demonstrate security technologies on the website.
The initial deployment is being funded by the police and crime commissioners for North Wales and Dyged Powys.
Duncobbin said: “As somebody who has worked in the field of technology, this project makes perfect sense in helping the farming community to increase their security measures.
“LoRaWAN technology has been heavily invested in by the Welsh Government and it can be a solution to to many of our issues in the countryside is this.
“Up to now things have been more focused on slurry pit levels or water levels in the fields but it also has huge potential in terms of tackling rural crime.
“This is essentially about equipping farmers with high tech systems to protect themselves against the blight or rural crime.”
Image: Andy Dundobbin with PC Dewi Evans, by Mandy Jones