Rural crime prevention

Crime prevention in rural areas is most effective when it involves a partnership between rural people, Police, local authorities & local organisations.

Police can and will respond to rural crime.

Keep in mind police may need to travel long distances to get to you.

Call 111 when you need immediate help with a life-threatening or time-critical emergency.

Some emergencies will need more than one service (Fire, Ambulance and Police).

Ask for the service which is needed most urgently.

All emergency services have links to each other and the first service called will notify the other services if they are required. For non-urgent situations, call 105 or visit your local police station. If there’s no immediate danger or the incident happened a while ago then it’s probably not an emergency. If you can’t decide if it’s a real emergency and you’re still worried, call 111 and ask us. We’ll help you work out what to do.

Clearly tag animals and keep accurate stock & produce records. Lock all rural buildings, houses and sheds etc.

You should have a detailed inventory of all personal valuables and household and business equipment, including model and serial numbers, inscriptions, and other identifying features.

Report all instances of crime - even when a police response is not necessary.

Police need to know the pattern of crime in an area. You can help Police by reporting all instances of suspicious behaviour or crime. It helps Police to know who is in the community or if there is a pattern of crime developing in an area that needs further investigation. It also helps us to decide if the rest of the community should be alerted too.

Be organised. Discuss and prepare.

Rural New Zealand has a reputation for tight-knit, supportive communities. You can help to keep safe by knowing your neighbours, exchanging contact phone numbers and keeping those numbers handy. Discuss what you could do to alert or assist each other in an emergency. It’s also a good idea to let neighbours know if you’re going on holiday or leaving your home overnight.

Reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime by taking precautions.

If you live on a farm and are leaving the house to investigate something untoward, ensure someone knows where you’re going, as much as possible about what you’re checking, and how long you expect it to take. This could involve phoning the police or your neighbour, waiting for a neighbour to join you, and taking a mobile phone or handheld radio with you.

Reduce risk by taking notice of who is out and about and talking to them (particularly if they aren’t locals), locking your house, removing keys, closing access gates (particularly to your driveway/house), and keeping an eye on each others’ property.

See our resources page for more information on how to prevent crime and reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime.