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Tractor And Quad Theft Falls As Police Scotland Partnership With NFU Mutual Boosts Rural Security

17th July 2017

Photograph of Tractor And Quad Theft Falls As Police Scotland Partnership With NFU Mutual Boosts Rural Security

• SPARC initiative has been running across Scotland for two years.

• Tractor theft costs have fallen 30% since partnership launch in June 2015.

• £75,000 NFU Mutual sponsorship has provided rural crime training for police across Scotland.

Tractor and quad thefts in Scotland have fallen by over a third in the two years since rural insurer NFU Mutual, Police Scotland and other partners joined forces to tackle farm machinery theft across Scotland.

Latest claims statistics from NFU Mutual, which insures over 70% of UK farmers, show that the cost of tractor and quad theft in Scotland has fallen by 40% to £229,000 between 2014 and 2016.

The SPARC initiative (Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime) was launched in June 2015 with £75,000 sponsorship from NFU Mutual.

The funding has enabled Police Scotland to train officers in the investigation and prevention of a range of rural crimes, provided support for vehicle and livestock theft operations and step up activity to prevent livestock worrying by dogs.

To deliver the SPARC initiative, Police Scotland and NFU Mutual are working closely with a range of rural organisations in Scotland, including NFU Scotland, Scottish Land and Estates, the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and Scottish Government.

Chief Superintendent Gavin Robertson, chair of SPARC said: "These results show the positive impact of the work that has been carried out by SPARC and the 13 local partnership groups aligned to each of Police Scotland's local policing divisions. This structure ensures a consistent approach while allowing issues to be identified and addressed by those who understand best the specific needs and concerns of their own rural communities."

"We are far from complacent, however, and have set ambitious work plans for the coming year with a view to making further reductions in rural crime across Scotland. For this to be achievable, I would urge farmers, foresters, rural businesses and residents as well as those visiting the countryside for leisure activities to take appropriate steps to protect their own vehicles and property by following the advice at:

"These figures are encouraging and send a clear message to would-be thieves that the countryside is not an easy target," said Martin Malone, NFU Mutual Regional Manager for Scotland.

"As the insurer of most farms in Scotland we know that rural crime is a major concern for farmers and country dwellers and are determined to drive it down by working closely with police, farmers and other organisations."



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