Fife farmers have been warned to be on their guard after a spike in rural crime in the area.
The beginning of March has seen three tractors stolen from farmers in the Fife area, which is on top of the significant increase seen in the area over the last three months, leading NFU Scotland, with Police Scotland, to issue a warning to all local farmers.
Farmers are being encouraged to be extremely vigilant and cautious when locking up their farm machinery and property, and are reminded to secure their property and spread the word of any suspicious vehicles or activities
Kate Maitland, NFU Scotland East Central Regional Manager, said: “This spike in rural crime in the area is extremely worrying and the Union is working closely with the local police to try to find a solution.
“Whether it’s the theft of machinery or livestock, or the deeply frustrating scourge of fly tipping, rural crime has a huge impact on its victims with the inconvenience and emotional costs almost impossible to fully quantify or cover.
“We are advising members in the area to be extra precautions when securing any vehicles, machinery and property when left unattended. This would include locking all appropriate doors and entrances, making sure all keys to vehicles are locked away and keeping all vehicles and machinery out of obvious sight.
“Prevention is the best tool we have. The installation of even a basic security system, such as a motion-activated camera directed towards the fuel tank, can be enough to send the opportunistic criminal along the track.
“Social media also plays a huge part. The ability to share images and details of potentially suspicious activity has been utilised by many countryside dwellers.”
PC Fraser Laird, Police Scotland, said: “Police Scotland take rural crime very seriously. I would encourage anyone residing in a rural property to be especially vigilant and to report any suspicious incidents to the Police no matter how trivial you might think it might be.
“If you live in Fife and are concerned about the security of your property or would like some advice on CCTV, alarms or just general security advice please contact me directly on 01383 318745 for a free crime prevention survey.
“Sometimes making small changes which do not have to cost a great deal of money can significantly reduce the chances of you becoming a victim of crime.”
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