Thieves have gone on a crime spree in Monmouthshire, targeting farm buildings and barns to steal equipment.
Nine incidents have been reported to police over the past week involving shed and barn burglaries in rural and farm areas.
Farms in Mitchel Troy, Trellech, Dixton and Llantilio Crossenny have been hit.
Items taken include horse tack, JCB parts, chain saws, strimmers, lawn mowers and heating fuel.
See also: 10 tips to cut farmhouse burglary risk
Monmouthshire Police is urging all farm owners to be vigilant and secure buildings.
Inspector Huw Jones said: “We’re asking for farm owners to make sure they have adequate security in place on their property.
“If you’d like to be kept up to date with recent crimes and crime prevention advice, join Farmwatch which sends regular updates specifically about rural crimes to your email address.
To join Farmwatch contact PC Mal John at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We’re also asking all residents to be vigilant. Take down registration numbers of suspicious vehicles and report suspicious activity to us by calling 101, if you think a crime is taking place, call 999.”
Officers have issued the following advice:
Farm and outbuilding
- Restrict access to your farmland and property with locked gates.
- Ensure your home, farm and outbuildings are secure. Use British Standard locks and high-security closed-shackle padlocks.
- Consider fitting intruder alarms, CCTV and good outside security lighting, check regularly to ensure they work.
- Lock windows and doors, remove keys from locks and keep out of visible reach.
- Mark equipment and property with farm name and postcode, use a UV pen, engraving, stamping, tagging or forensic marking.
- Hide valuable items from view and secure them in an outbuilding or shed.
Vehicles, trailers and quad bikes
- Secure and immobilise vehicles and equipment when not in use.
- Remove keys from the ignition and keep them somewhere secure.
- Do not leave quad bikes or trailers unattended in fields.
- Consider storing vehicles and property in a secured building, if possible secured to the ground or wall, or inside a caged area.
- Where possible install fuel tanks within secure buildings or cages made from a material resistant to attack.
- Consider installing anti-siphon devices.
- Fuel tanks and storage areas should be kept locked and alarmed where possible.
- Never advertise that you are away by leaving notes for tradesmen or delivery drivers.
- Keep up to date on crime trends by joining Farmwatch.
For further specific advice for your property, please email local officers. All contact details can be found on the website www.gwent.police.uk.