Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray has voiced her support for a new handbook released by Police Scotland which seeks to advise 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.
Efforts have been stepped up by Police Scotland and NFU Scotland on agricultural and rural crime as the problem becomes more widespread across the country.
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.
Practical measures that farmers can take to secure their property are detailed in the handbook.
Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray said:
“As the number of organised and opportunistic thieves in our region sadly increases, it’s important that people living and working in rural communities take as many preventative measures as possible in order to protect themselves as well as their property. I’m pleased that Police Scotland and NFUS are working so closely in order to help farmers in Dumfries & Galloway, and this handbook is just another step in the right direction towards ending agricultural crime in our region. I would encourage all farmers in the region to get in touch with Police Scotland to request a handbook, and to ask for their advice on security measures to deter thieves away from their farms.”