Police in Lanarkshire are trying to raise awareness of rural crime, and asking those living in rural areas to ensure that their property is secure as it can be as we move into the darker nights.
Rural crime comes in many forms and can range from the theft of plant, machinery, vehicles, tools or livestock to incidents of housebreaking, fire raising and vandalism.
Now is the perfect time to make sure that your property is as secure as possible for the autumn and winter months, and officers have been out and about speaking to land and home owners to give advice on simple solutions and measures they can take to protect their property and equipment.
Householders could: Ensure that all expensive farming equipment and tools are locked away when not in use; Check all windows and doors are in good repair and locked and valuables are kept out of sight. Make sure lights are left on when the property is unoccupied, with timers set to swtich lights on when it is dark; and use external lighting where possible to help deter thefts.
Chief Inspector David Walker from Lanarkshire Division’s Rural and Wildlife Crime Governance Group said: We work closely with those living in the rural community all year round to ensure that they have the relevant crime prevention advice, and as the darker nights approach, it’s vital that we make sure that everyone living in rural areas has the information they need to protect their property.
“Thefts in rural areas throughout Lanarkshire have reduced over the summer months with police carrying out a number of successful operations targeting rural crime.”
And he added: “Of course we welcome any reduction in crime, but figures over the past few years show that there is a rise in crimes during the autumn months and we take this type of crime very seriously.
“We are continuing to work closely with a number of partners to tackle this important issue.
“We take every opportunity to liaise with other Police Scotland divisional Rural and Wildlife Crime Governance Groups to share knowledge and intelligence with officers throughout the country to minimise the number of crimes carried out.
“Officers patrol rural areas as part of our day to day policing within the division, and there will be additional patrols in these areas across Lanarkshire to further reassure the local community and raise awareness.
“I would also ask people to take some extra steps to ensure that their property is secure.
“Finally, I would also urge anyone who witnesses anybody acting suspiciously, or anything out of ordinary to contact Police Scotland to report this so we can look into it.”
Anyone with information on rural crime should contact Police Scotland on 101. Alternatively CRIMESTOPPERS can be contacted on 0800 555 111, where anonymity can be maintained.