2015-06-19  

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NFUS Supports Rural Crime Advice Handbook

NFU Scotland is tackling the blight of crime in the countryside by getting behind a new a handbook to help those living and working in rural communities.

The 22-page handbook – A Guide to Security in the Rural Environment – provides practical advice on deterring and preventing theft. And was officially launched at NFU Scotland’s stand at the Royal Highland Show on 18 June 2015.

The launch of the new crime booklet was attended by Scottish Environment Minister Aileen McLeod and Police Scotland.

The launch of the new crime booklet was attended by Scottish Environment Minister Aileen McLeod and Police Scotland.

Efforts have been stepped up by the Union on agricultural and rural crime as the problem becomes more widespread across Scotland.

NFU Scotland has been working with various organisations to highlight the devastating impact that crime has on the wider agricultural industry and the need for tougher punishments for those who commit such crimes.

According to leading agricultural insurer NFU Mutual, rural crime has started to increase in Scotland in the last three years, with the numbers of tractors stolen increasing three-fold in five years. The theft of other machinery, quad bikes, fuel, metal, livestock and tools brings the total bill for theft to more than £2 million per year.

Until recently, as a result of lower crime in Scotland in previous years, farmers in Scotland have not seen the need for the level of security measures on tractors, quads, livestock and farmyards.

However, through this booklet practical measures that farmers can take to secure their property are detailed.

NFU Scotland President Allan Bowie, commented: “We have building work stream around rural crime as reports of theft or damage continue to come in to our local offices on a daily basis.

“Theft in the agricultural community is on the increase and we want farmers and others within the industry to take steps to protect themselves and their property.

“We welcome this handbook from Police Scotland, and are pleased that they are taking this issue seriously and looking to review this area of their work.

“A new working group with Police Scotland has been established in the last few weeks. We look forward to the first meeting of that group and will keep our members updated as it progresses.

“In the near future we will be looking to hold practical seminars across the country on agricultural crime and will continue to work with relevant partner organisations to tackle this blight on Scotland’s rural areas.”

NFUS

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