Farmwatch Two Way Radio Scheme…a Solution to a Hot Political issue?

It is not only in the towns and the cities that Smye Rumsby and its radio systems have been successful. With the recent media attention over the Tony Martin case, a man who was convicted of killing an intruder on his farm, rural security has once again become a hot political issue. Issues brought up by this case have struck a chord with many farming communities.

Rural crime is on the increase and farmers who are struggling to earn a living wage have to look at cost-effective solutions to protect their livelihoods. Farmers have real concerns over their own safety, their stock, machinery etc and are constantly looking for solutions to safeguard their assets. Cost effectiveness is an important part of the solution because reduced prices of cattle; strong competition and the increase in overheads have critically affected farmer's livelihoods.

Smye Rumsby has provided one such solution in a 'Farmwatch' scheme set up on Romney Marsh. It has been running for a couple of years now and is self-managed by the farm owners themselves using Icom IC-F1010 mobile transceivers and IC-F10 handportable transceivers. Members of this ‘Farmwatch’ use radio communication equipment to communicate amongst themselves if they see anything suspicious or feel that their security is being threatened. According to Paul Jess, 'Farmwatch has improved the confidence of all its users and has increased the level of community spirit.'

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