Pro’s Choice – Protecting Australia’s Farmers
Axedale farmer Tim Harrington was at the end of his rope.
Hay was disappearing from his shed at an alarming rate, and it certainly all wasn’t going to his livestock. He’d
suspected for quite a while that someone was stealing from him – while they’re not made of jewels, hay is
valuable, fetching up to $100 for a high-quality bale – but wasn’t able to prove it. Covering more than 1000
acres of land alongside the Campaspe River between Axedale and Goornong, his farm was simply too large
and too spread out for him to be able to install everything needed to run a complicated closed-circuit
television system. The digging for the electrical and data cabling alone would be hugely expensive and highly
Luckily, there were other options. Tim decided to leverage a bit of technology favoured by hunters stalking
certain kinds of game. Officially referred to as remote cameras but more commonly known as hunting or
trail cameras, these small devices activate when they detect movement, snapping a high-resolution picture
of whatever’s set off their motion detector. Tim bought two, setting one up on his gate and one up at his hay
shed, and ended up finding out exactly where his hay was going. A car was brazenly backing up to his shed
and just loading up with valuable hay. With this photographic evidence, the police were able to identify one
man and arrest him, ultimately resulting in him receiving a 22-month prison sentence.
Offering real value in rural settings
Without help from state-of- the-art security cameras, Tim might still be getting robbed. His success story was
just one of the earliest. Since that thief was caught in March of 2014, many other farmers have switched on
to the value of trail and hunting cameras as security devices.
Pro’s Choice has been closely involved in helping some farmers beat the crooks and stop farm theft. In
August, our products helped Heathcote farmer Carl Watkins stop regular thefts of firewood from his
property. After losing more than $2400 in thefts over a period of months, Carl installed the Spromise S358
3G/GSM Cellular MMS Trail Camera on his property, an advanced model that is able to send photos to the
owner’s phone as they are taken, allowing even faster response to action. His smart decision allowed police
to catch the thief while still in the act when he struck again, leading to his being arrested and interviewed.
In the remote setting of an Australian farm, property owners can’t rely on common CCTV systems to keep
watch over every little thing on their land as a shop owner could. The immense distances these properties
cover mean that installing complex, internet-enabled camera systems is just impossible. That’s where Pro’s
Choice comes in. We offer something different for farmers. Rather than having to tether their system to a
generator and running kilometres of data cables across their property, our trail cameras are fully portable.
All of our models are powered by batteries and transmitting via the mobile phone network, getting the job
done at a fraction of the cost and the stress.
Getting the word out
The value of these systems is becoming increasingly recognised. So much so that the Victoria Police put
together the Farm Security and Farmers Health Expo at Bendigo Stadium in late August. Pro’s Choice was
represented by Leading Senior Constable Dan O’Bree, who demonstrated some products with a proven track
record of helping local organisations and private citizens catch intruders, thieves and other law-breakers.
Hundreds turned out to the expo, with many commenting on the impressive range of technology available
for the switched-on farmer looking to beef up their property’s security.
“Shows to me that this sort of technology’s valuable,” Carl Watkins said.
With farm crime on the rise across Victoria, police are pushing these systems as effective deterrents against
Nine News has reported that this year so far, more than $200,000 of livestock has been stolen across Victoria, including $29,000 worth of sheep in Serpentine, $31,000 of cows in Echuca, and $20,000 worth of bee boxes in Castlemaine.
Leading Senior Constable Dan O’Bree was at the expo showcasing the Pro’s Choice range and talking about
the importance of trail camera technology.
He told the Bendigo Advertiser that security technology should be a priority for any farmer looking to
protect their property.
“We know that farming properties and residences are viewed by criminals as easy targets because they can
be very remote,” he said.
“Security measures, such as installing cameras in isolated areas of rural properties, can be both a deterrent
and a useful tool in helping to identify offenders.”
Pro’s Choice was proud to be represented at the expo, and looks forward to helping Australia’s rural industries protect their properties.
Senior-Constable O’Bree can be contacted on 5433 3711 or by email at email@example.com
Firewood theft capture on Spromise S358 3G Trail camera leading to arrested