The police have issued the following advice to help keep smallholders' and allotmenteers' tools secure.

The first step is to walk around your smallholding, allotment and premises looking closely, trying to think like a thief. Can I get in? Is that a weak point? Could it be with a bit of force? Is anyone around?

Pay particular attention to windows and doors. Are the windows secure? If you look through can you see desirable equipment? Should you fit blinds, a grill or shutters?

Make sure that the doors have appropriate locks that meet insurance requirements as a minimum. External doors and their frames should be strong enough to withstand attack.

Tools are desirable and if they are stolen it can impact your bank account at best, your business at worst.

The police advise marking tools so they can easily be identified as your belongings. Ways of doing so include engraving your name, postcode and phone number together with ‘IF SOLD, CALL ME’.

If you can handle it, spray paint your tools a bright colour such as hot pink as this literally makes them too hot to handle!

Keep an up-to-date list of your tools, including photographs and serial numbers, registered on - the world’s largest free register of possessions and their owners. This will help all UK police forces to trace owners if the property is recovered.