A campaign to address farm-related crime and thefts has been set up by Crimestoppers, the Irish Farmers' Association, gardaí and DoneDeal.

Crimestoppers says thousands of tools, vehicles, farm machinery and equipment are stolen from farms throughout Ireland every year.

Since 2010, over 28,642 farm-related crime incidents have been reported to gardaí, including burglaries and vehicle, machinery and equipment theft, according to CSO figures.

The cross-agency campaign aims to raise awareness of the issue, particularly in farming communities.

Farmers are urged to sign up to the TheftStop scheme; a joint initiative by the IFA and An Garda Síochána which provides members with a unique Security ID.

Members can then mark their machinery and equipment with this ID and upload an image of the item to the TheftStop site.

Marked and branded items are significantly less attractive to criminals to steal as they will be more easily recognisable by the public and harder to sell on.

Crimestoppers Chairman Tim Dalton said: "We provide a fully confidential means for every citizen to report crime, without fear of recrimination.

"Calls are free and the information is given completely anonymously. The service consistently elicits very valuable information to assist investigations in both rural and urban Ireland."

IFA President Joe Healy said: "Theft Stop is one of a number of initiatives that IFA is working on for farm families and people living in rural communities.

"In the last ten months, it has been rolled out across 12 counties - Laois, Offaly, Kilkenny, Galway, Cavan, Monaghan, Cork, Cavan, Limerick, Meath, Sligo and Leitrim."

"We recognise the importance of providing support and assistance to our members because of the prevalence of crime in rural communities. Our Crime Prevention Officer Colin Connolly is working through our County Executive network to give farmers his insight as a former Garda and through practical advice and anti-crime tips."

Anyone with any information on farm-related crime is asked to contact Crimestoppers on 1800-25-00-25. Calls to Crimestoppers are free and anonymous.