Southland Police are reminding rural communities to be extra vigilant and not to take the law into their own hands.
They say with the increase in daylight hours and farmers tied up with calving, lambing and milking, it's an opportune time for criminals to take advantage of any lapse in security on rural farms.
Senior Sergeant Cynthia Fairley said people should look out for their neighbours and community, and let police know if anything or anyone looks out of place.
"We need the public to help us by being our eyes and ears," she said.
"Police would also like to remind the rural community to keep all buildings and vehicles secure including farm buildings and machinery," said Sergeant Fairley.
She said residents should not put themselves in danger or take the law into their own hands if confronted by offenders, but instead contact police.
Security tips for rural communities:
Make your house and garages a hard target for thieves with alarms and sensor lighting
Ensure you lock your valuable items away and lock your houses
Photograph and register the details and serial numbers of your important items in your home. You can register these on www.snap.org.nz
Be wary of posting too much information on social media about holiday or travel plans
Remove keys and lock vehicles when not in use
Do not leave valuable items or equipment in vehicles overnight
Quad bikes, trailers and tools such as chainsaws are expensive to replace, so reduce theft by taking extra security measures
Remove keys from unattended vehicles, secure the quad bike with a padlock/anchor and chain the bike
Mark or engrave tools with your driver's licence number
Firearm ownership and licensing comes with a responsibility for safety, not only when out hunting but at home as well.
Do not leave firearms in vehicles
Record serial numbers
Ensure tanks are secure and locked to restrict theft and tampering
Install security lighting in the area
Visit the NZ Police Rural Crime Prevention website www.police.govt.nz/rural for more useful advice.
If you see a crime taking place call 111 immediately.
Report any suspicious activity to Police. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.