With longer days and calving, lambing and milking keeping farmers busy, Southland police are asking the rural community to look out for one another.

Criminals were likely to take advantage of any lapse in security on farms and police "need the public to help us by being our eyes and ears", Senior Sergeant Cynthia Fairley, of Gore, said.

"Importantly, we ask residents to not put themselves in danger or take the law into their own hands if confronted by offenders, but to instead contact police."

Police advised rural residents to install alarms and sensor lighting at home, lock valuable items away and lock houses, photograph and register details and serial numbers of important items and not post too much information on social media about holiday or travel plans.

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Fuel, firearms, tools, and vehicles were all targets for thieves. Neighbourhood support groups could be useful at this time.

Late last month, after a 1000-litre tank and a 400-litre petrol tank were emptied on an Enfield farm, in North Otago, Federated Farmers rural security spokesman Miles Anderson called for farmers to be increasingly conscious of security.

Crime prevention

Home security

Install alarms and sensor lighting.

Lock houses.

Photograph and register serial numbers of important items.

Do not post too much information on social media about travel plans.

Vehicles

Remove keys and lock vehicles when not in use.

Do not leave valuable items in vehicles overnight.

Tools

Quad bikes, trailers and chainsaws could be targeted.

Secure quad bikes; mark tools with driver's licence number.

Firearms

Do not leave firearms in vehicles.

Record serial numbers.

Fuel

Lock and secure tanks. Install security lighting in the area.

— Source: New Zealand Police