Residents in rural communities are being reminded to remain vigilant as seasonal and working conditions change.
The call comes as the hours of daylight increase and farmers become tied up with calving, lambing and milking.
“This is an opportune time for criminals to take advantage of any lapse in security on rural farms,” says Senior Sergeant Cynthia Fairley.
“We would like to remind the community to be vigilant and look out for one another.
“Please look out for your neighbours and your community, and let Police know if anything or anyone looks out of place.
“We need the public to help us by being our eyes and ears.
“Note down registration numbers of suspicious vehicles and descriptions of suspicious people, and let us know.
“Burglar alarms and security cameras deter potential thieves and help Police identify criminals.”
Cynthia also reminds the rural community to keep all buildings and vehicles secure including farm buildings and machinery.
“Keep in contact with your neighbours too and let each other know if you notice anything unusual.
“Neighbourhood Support groups can be particularly useful for this purpose.
“Importantly, we ask residents to not put themselves in danger or take the law into their own hands if confronted by offenders – but to instead contact Police.”
Some important security tips:
• Make your house and garages a hard target for thieves – with alarms and sensor lighting
• Ensure you lock your valuable items away and lock your houses
• Photograph and register the details and serial numbers of your important items in your home. You can register these on www.snap.org.nz
• Be wary of posting too much information on social media about holiday or travel plans
• Remove keys and lock vehicles when not in use
• Do not leave valuable items or equipment in vehicles overnight
• Quad bikes, trailers and tools such as chainsaws are expensive to replace, so reduce theft by taking extra security measures
• Remove keys from unattended vehicles, secure the quad bike with a padlock/anchor and chain the bike
• Mark or engrave tools with your driver’s licence number
• Firearm ownership and licensing comes with a responsibility for safety, not only when out hunting but at home as well.
• Do not leave firearms in vehicles
• Record serial numbers
• Ensure tanks are secure and locked to restrict theft and tampering
• Install security lighting in the area
Visit the NZ Police Rural Crime Prevention website www.police.govt.nz/rural for more useful advice.
If you see a crime taking place call 111 immediately. Report any suspicious activity to Police.
Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.