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Tackling rural theft in Scotland must begin with better protection

Date: 05 May 2016

TRACKER, the UK’s leading stolen vehicle recovery provider, applauds the recent formation of the Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime (SPARC), and its campaign against quad and tractor thieves.  Whilst Scotland witnessed an overall decrease in rural crime last year, the absence of insurance, and the subsequent lack of a collective recording of rural crimes by Police Scotland, is a challenge that needs to be conquered urges TRACKER. 
“Under-reporting of rural vehicle crime in Scotland represents a significant issue, with various surveys indicating this currently stands at 20%. Many farmers simply can’t afford to insure all their assets, which is a common explanation for non-reporting,” explains Andy Barrs, Head of Police Liaison for TRACKER (part of the Tantalum Corporation).  
“In addition, farmers believe there is little point in reporting offences to the police because of a misconception that there is no hope in plant and machinery ever being recovered. This underlines the importance of stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) solutions which play a significant role in successfully tracking and recovering stolen assets, reuniting them with their rightful owners.”
Figures show that not all of Scotland’s rural communities have seen a decrease in crime, indeed those closest to urban areas have been hotspots for criminals.  Midlothian, Ayrshire, Inverness-shire, Fife and Dumbartonshire all saw year-on-year increases in crime, together with Perthshire, Clackmannanshire and Banffshire.
There is also evidence to suggest that this stolen farm equipment is ending up in sealed containers at major ports, such as Grangemouth and Cairnryan, and then being shipped overseas.  Fortunately, TRACKER’s SVR devices are used by ports police across the UK, including Police Scotland, resulting in the recovery of these assets.   TRACKER’s SVR solutions work like an electronic homing device. A covert transmitter is hidden in one of several dozen places around the asset. There is no visible aerial, so the thief won’t even know it’s there.  Unlike other devices, TRACKER’s unique technology can locate stolen quad bikes, tractors and farming equipment anywhere, even when it is hidden in a garage or shipping container.
Andy Barrs concludes, “Whilst quad thefts are a particular concern in Scotland – and the Midlands - sadly, the experience of our customers nationally is that very little will stand in the way of determined thieves.  If they really want to steal a high value quad or tractor they will take it.  Whilst security marking schemes have their place in preventing crime, a vehicle can only be identified if it can be recovered in the first place, which is why TRACKER is so important in helping to reunite owners with their stolen vehicles and equipment.
Working in partnership with NFU Mutual and Datatag, TRACKER is helping Scottish farmers protect their machinery for less. Farmers can benefit from major discounts on TRACKER products, resulting in significant reductions on NFU Mutual policies of up to 25%.

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