Securing UK farms: Tackling rural crime with NextGenAgri


In the wake of the NFU Mutual report on rural crime, Agri-EPI Centre network member NextGenAgri and partners at O.R.P. CCTV and R-Com IoT have teamed up to develop an innovative new solution to help combat what is an irrefutable blight on the agricultural industry.

With an estimated total cost of £43.4m in 2020 – and with rates rising considerably on certain assets and in certain regions – theft is a real cause for concern. But other crimes such as dog attacks on livestock and fly tipping also cost the agrifood sector both time and money every year.

Jim McClean, NFU Mutual Chairman says: “As a farmer myself, I know from personal experience that rural crime […] is far more than an inconvenience. It’s a major disruption that can have a real impact on a farmer’s work life, family life and mental wellbeing. The anxiety experienced by farming families […] is impossible to calculate.”

Solutions to the biggest agrifood challenges

Agri-EPI Centre works alongside farmers, developers and stakeholders to help solve challenges facing agriculture and safety on farm, including the safety of premises and technology, has been at the forefront of our most recent work – including our upcoming Hackathon.

That means working with Agri-EPI Centre network members, such as NextGenAgri to continually test, adapt and develop systems that can keep agricultural assets safe and secure. From plant, asset and vehicle tracking to CCTV systems and intruder alerts, Agri-EPI Centre has been essential to facilitating NextGenAgri’s innovations in agritech.

NextGenAgri uses agri-tech to enable farms to accelerate the adoption of technology to accelerate business growth, providing a range of solutions that couple innovation with the critical challenges of the UK agricultural community, including farm yields, asset security and worker safety.

The Active AI Enhanced CCTV camera developed by NextGenAgri is at the cutting edge of farm site security, extending the capability of existing cameras to deliver proactive alerts, 24-7.

Utilising AI, this system can detect unexpected, out-of-hours movement and can distinguish between different vehicles (from scooters to large plant), people and even suspicious behaviour. Should the system identify something out of the ordinary, the alarm is raised allowing the stakeholder to check and respond accordingly.

Evolving to meet future threats

Gill Nunn, CEO and Founder of NextGenAgri Limited says: “The solutions we have developed with our partners enable us to deliver a highly capable response to criminal behaviour and activity. They also provide a platform for our evolution to meet future threats.”

Duncan Kirby, R-Com IoT says: “The solutions we have developed with our partners provide end-to-end, integrated, and modular solutions that give land owners and farmers alike a proactive, highly accurate, efficient and effective response to criminal activity.”

Referring to Active AI Enhanced CCTV, Chris Marlow, CEO of O.R.P. Surveillance says: “Agricultural settings can be one of the most challenging environments to secure. The flexibility this system offers is a game changer in its adaptability to different environments and its ability to respond to various threats. Smart, automated, pro-active systems are the future of rural security. We are proud and excited to be a part of that.”

Working alongside farmers, tech developers and a wide range of other companies in the agricultural sector is just one of the many ways we facilitate and enable innovation on farms in the UK and internationally. You can find out more about Agri-EPI Centre’s work on our project pages.


Related News