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Farmers warned to be vigilant as rural crime threat intensifies

Farmers have again been urged to remain vigilant for rural thieves.
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Farmers in the Lothian and Borders region are being invited to a free ‘walk and talk’ farm event on crime prevention and fire safety.

The informal event, organised jointly by NFU Scotland, Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, will provide a key opportunity to discuss current rural crime and fire-related issues.

Taking place at Haswellsykes Farm, Peebles on Thursday 9 June, the event will include practical demonstrations on security systems, crime prevention equipment and fire safety techniques.

 

Rural criminals continue to blight the countryside.

 

Figures from the National Rural Crime Network estimated the cost of rural crime last year at £800 million.

 

The statistic came as NFU Mutual said it had paid out £32.3m in claims for rural crimes during 2015.

 

The Metropolitan Police’s Plant and Agricultural National Intelligence Unit (PANIU) saw 149 thefts in the south east of England between April and June 2015.

 

Andy Barrs, head of police liaison at security specialists Tracker said Essex and Kent’s proximity to the major ports meant highly organised criminal gangs were able to ship abroad stolen agricultural machinery and quad bikes, feeding global demand for black market equipment by the farming and building sectors.

 

Overall, Scotland has seen a decline in rural crime.

 

However Midlothian, Ayrshire, Inverness-shire, Fife and Dumbartonshire have all seen year on year increases.

  • The event next Thursday will take place between 1pm and 3.30pm at Haswellsykes Farm, Peebles, EH45 9JL.

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