BASS Coast police have issued a reminder to local farmers to secure their stock and equipment against theft as much as possible.

Their message comes as more of a reminder than as a result of any recent spate of thefts, but the next incident involving the theft of cattle, a farm ute, equipment or firearms isn’t far away.

In the latest Crime Statistics Agency report, up until 2020-21, there had been a steady rise in the number of guns stolen from farms, while tools and power tools are also popular targets of thieves; cattle and sheep, not so much, but it does happen given their rise in value of late.

In an effort to focus attention on farm thefts, Victoria Police has appointed dedicated Farm Crime Liaison Officers (FCLOs) in various parts of the state, including locally.

They specialise in assisting with farm related crimes by encouraging farmers to report incidents as soon as possible, by maintaining contemporary knowledge of local trends in an effort to mitigate the risks and by providing guidance, assistance and contacts to other investigating officers.

Farm Crime Liaison Officers (FCLO) locally include:

* Baw Baw Crime Investigation Unit Detective Leading Senior Constable Leigh Lambert (03) 5662 7153.

* Leongatha Police Station Senior Constable Rohan Michael (03) 5662 2285.

* Mirboo North police station Leading Senior Constable Jeffrey Stephens (03) 5668 2555.

* Warragul police station Senior Sergeant Glenn Parke (03) 5622 7111.

* Wonthaggi police station Sennior Sergeant Jason Hullick (03) 5671 4191

Their advice:

If you become aware of the theft of any of your livestock or farm equipment, report it immediately.

The sooner a crime is reported, the greater the chance of identifying the offender.

Call the Police Assistance Line on 131 444 and make a non-urgent report or call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 to make an anonymous report.

For immediate police assistance, always call Triple Zero (000).