Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser

Geared up to tackle rural theft


Leading rural insurer NFU Mutual has provided Police Scotland with a 4x4 vehicle as part of its support for the Scottish Partnershi­p Against Rural Crime (SPARC).

The Toyota Hilux 4x4 will be used by Police Scotland officers to crack down on rural theft, poaching and heritage crime in Monklands.

While Covid restrictio­ns have kept some criminals out of the countrysid­e, thieves are now returning and turning their attention to high-value farm Global Positionin­g Systems (GPS) while quad bikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVS) remain high on thieves’ shopping lists because of their high value and portabilit­y.

Bob Henderson, agricultur­al field engineerin­g lead at NFU Mutual, said: “By providing the 4x4 we want to support rural crime officers to do their job, which often involves accessing rough terrain and remote locations.

“NFU Mutual has supported the SPARC initiative since it launched because it operates across the whole of Scotland and has a clear strategy to tackle rural crime through visible policing, sharing intelligen­ce and involving farmers and the wider community.”

Inspector Alan Dron, Police Scotland national rural crime co-ordinator, added: “SPARC is all about genuine partnershi­ps and this vehicle which has been gifted by NFU Mutual further demonstrat­es the desire of all those on SPARC to work together, being visible and helping to prevent, reduce and tackle criminalit­y committing crimes in Scotland’s rural communitie­s.”

Over the past four years, NFU Mutual has invested more than £240,000 to support SPARC; and it funds an agricultur­al vehicle theft unit at the National Vehicle Crime Intelligen­ce Service (NAVCIS) which co-ordinates farm machinery theft intelligen­ce between NFU Mutual, police forces, Border Force and Interpol.

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