Farmers have been urged to be ‘extremely vigilant and cautious’ when locking up farm machinery and property after a spike in the number of rural thefts.
Police Scotland made the plea on the back of the theft of three tractors from farmers in the Fife area since the beginning of March.
It came on top of what it said was a ‘general increase’ in rural crime over the last three months.
NFU Scotland (NFUS) said it was working closely with the police to try and find a solution.
NFUS east central regional manager Kate Maitland said: “We are advising members in the area to take 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.”
Ms Maitland also urged farmers to share images and details of potentially suspicious activity on social media.
PC Fraser Laird of Police Scotland added: “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 think it might be.
“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.”
Fife farmers who are concerned about the security of their property or who would like some advice on CCTV, alarms or general security advice, should contact PC Laird on 01383 318 745 for a free crime prevention survey.