RURAL SECURITY WARNING: Planned Protests This Weekend

rural security


Farsight’s remote security monitoring team will be on high vigilance this weekend as rural security could be threatened if the planned ‘mass trespass’ protests by an environmental activist group goes ahead this weekend.

The ‘This is our land’ event is planned to take place on Saturday 24th April and encourages people across the country to walk on private land to mark the Kinder Scout trespass 89th anniversary in 1932 which saw five men jailed.

The Kinder Scout ‘mass trespass’ in 1932 saw members of the Young Communist League organised a trespass onto the forbidden upland of Kinder Scout, an event that led to the creation of the UK’s first National Park; the Peak District.

This weekend, which marks its 89th anniversary, a group known as Extinction Rebellion is attempting to gather eco-activists for a mass trespass of the countryside under the slogan ‘Trespass Together’ encouraging others to join with this call to action:

“On 24th April 2021 every citizen of the UK is invited to mark the Kinder Scout trespass wherever and however they can. Together we will remember our radical roots and reclaim our most fundamental rights: to walk, to wander, to live.”

The group is encouraging people to take the following actions on the 24th April:

  • Peacefully climb over NO TRESPASSING or PRIVATE PROPERTY signs
  • Attach your own message to NO TRESPASSING signs
  • Explore creative, peaceful & covid-safe civil disobedience related to the land
  • Bring the conversation home, speak to your friends & neighbours about land rights and land misuse
  • Whatever you do, post photos and join the social media storm

The Countryside Alliance reports that in response to questions from Farmers Weekly, an XR spokesperson insisted the action would be “peaceful” and farmers would not be targeted.

They added: “Farmers are as vulnerable as any of us to the whims of the tiny minority of aristocrats, oligarchs and corporate interests that control the land.”

However, Tim Bonner of the Countryside Alliance called the action ‘blatant anarchism’, further saying:

“ Everyone is welcome in the countryside, and in England and Wales there are 140,000 miles of rights of way as well as hundreds of thousands of acres of open access land for people to use. Rules around access are there for a reason, not least to protect crops and livestock. Extinction Rebellion’s planned trespass is nothing short of blatant anarchism, which aims to disrupt working rural communities for no other reason than for a bit of publicity stunt. Their inability to connect with the wider British public on whatever issue it is they seek to highlight shouldn’t come at the expense of hard-working farmers and rural businesses.”

With increasing rural security threats affecting farmers all over the country already blighting farmers – see some of the crime incidents targeting farms this April alone here – this is something that will certainly test rural security even further if the demonstration is allowed to continue.

It is heartening that the aims of the planned protest purport to be ‘peaceful’ –  however, we remain sceptical following the outcomes of recent events organised by the same eco-activist group in London.

BBC News reported that as part of the Earth Day protest on 22dn April, activists smashed at lest 19 windows at Canary Wharf HSBC using hammers and chisels. Nine women were arrested by police who were part of their ‘Money Rebellion’ movement against economic institutions contributing to the current climate crisis.

The activists taking part in the protest, wore patches with the words “better broken windows than broken promises”. One activist was quoted as saying:

“Doing this today may land us in prison but we’re on the right side of history.”

This latest event came after XR members broke windows at the London headquarters of Barclays two weeks ago.

We are unsure whether this weekend’s planned demonstration will peaceful or indeed only be targeted at the countryside or whether this will also affect businesses in urban area too, but we are sure of one thing – the Farsight remote security monitoring will be on ‘high vigilance’ to help protect the safety of our clients’ property, assets and people – and it may be a rather busy time for our security operators at that!

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Additional Resources

Farsight regularly publish articles to give guidance the security issues facing businesses across multiple sectors, like these:

> Will crime surge post-lockdown?

> Is it time to rethink your farm security?

> Rural Crime targeting crime continues this April

> Who is watching your business security?

> 20 ways to improve your business security