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.