From the commander's desk: Protect yourself against rural crime

Rural crime costs millions of dollars every year.

The theft of livestock, produce and equipment, illegal shooting, trespassing and other crimes affect people's livelihood and well-being.

It is estimated that at least half of the rural crime committed goes unreported.

You are the best person in your area to notice suspicious activity.

We ask that if you see something that is suspicious in your area please report it to your local police.

You can also report knowledge of rural crime to Crime Stoppers - 1800 333 000.

The boundaries of your rural property are the first line of defence against unwanted trespassers.

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Unwanted trespassers have the potential to cause loss or damage to your land, equipment and livestock which can be inconvenient and costly.

If you come across somebody trespassing on your land, please do not approach anyone on your land that you don't know.

Take note of registration numbers, descriptions and any other information and immediately contact your local police.

While you can't be everywhere all of the time, you can better protect your property and equipment from damage and theft by taking some simple precautions.

Here are some simple steps we all can take to better protect ourselves from this type of crime;

  • ALWAYS maintain the integrity of your fences and gates
  • ALWAYS invest in security measures around sheds, fuel and your farm house such as security lighting, alarms, dogs or video surveillance
  • ALWAYS post "No Trespassing" and "Private Property" signs at entry points and near roads surrounding your land
  • ALWAYS record details such as time and date, vehicle registration number, description, exact location and contact Police. Consider using a digital camera to record details of trespassers and illegal hunters.

Protect your property and your local community

  • NEVER advertise on social media your travel plans or periods of absence
  • JOIN and encourage others to participate in a local Neighbourhood Watch group to protect each other's property NHW
  • ALWAYS report suspicious behaviour to your local police
  • FOLLOW and encourage others to like the NSW Police Force Rural Crime Eyewatch page on Facebook.

Farm security

  • NEVER leave keys or valuables in your machinery
  • ALWAYS secure your farming equipment/machinery with heavy chain and or good quality locks
  • NEVER leave fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides in an unsecured location. Identify your farming equipment/machinery
  • ALWAYS maintain accurate records, identification points and photographs for your farming equipment/machinery and store in a separate secure location
  • NEVER advertise the exact location of any farming equipment/machinery if up for sale
  • ALWAYS mark all of your farming equipment/machinery by engraving, welding etc your driver's licence number or other unique identifier

Protect your fuel

  • ALWAYS secure your fuel supply with quality locking systems
  • NEVER locate your fuel supply in clear view of roadways
  • ALWAYS maintain separate records of fuel use to ensure you can tell if theft has occurred
  • NEVER leave power to your fuel pumps turned on or accessible to intruders.

Acting Inspector Dave Cowell

Hume PD

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This story Protect yourself against rural crime first appeared on Southern Highland News.