POLICE are concerned a lot of the region's rural property owners aren't taking the appropriate measures to protect their properties from thieves.
Farms are often relatively easy targets for thieves and after conducting a recent security audit of a farm where he had to make several recommendations, Crime Prevention Officer with Ararat Police Leading Senior Constable Eddy MacDonald said it was time for farmers to act to protect property and prevent crime occurring on their doorstep.
"On a recent inspection as part of a security audit I was concerned by the number of instances where the farm was found to be vulnerable," he said.
"It wasn't the first farm I have inspected that is vulnerable to trespassers who make their way onto properties to remove valuable items of machinery, tools and equipment."
Mr MacDonald said there are easy ways farm owners can go about securing their properties. One way is to install motion activated security cameras.
"The Crime Prevention Office recommends farmers look into installing this technology to protect themselves against crime," he said.
"We also recommended motion activated floodlighting for sheds and at all approaches to farms."
Mr MacDonald said property owners should inscribe valuables with their driver's licence number, with a prefix the initial of the state they come from."
"Farmers should get to know their neighbours and work together to ensure they are farm safe," he said.
Mr MacDonald said one of the best deterrents to farm theft, which more often than not occurs in the day time, are dogs.
Other tips to reduce farm crime and secure your property include:
Remove keys from machinery.
Lock doors of machinery cabs.
Use lockable fuel caps.
Return broken down machinery to the shed.
Store large farm equipment in secure sheds or highly visible areas.
Store valuable equipment in a secure building out of sight, behind a locked door.
Use high security padlocks and lock outbuildings when you are not using them.
Install outdoor security lights where you have valuable equipment.
If you become aware of any information about individuals who have engaged in theft from farms and other country properties, report what you know to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
For further advice about what you can do to protect your farm from thieves contact Crime Prevention Officer Leading Senior Constable Eddy MacDonald at Ararat Police Station on 5355 1500.