With a rural crimewave hitting Clyesdale hard, the police and NFU Scotland have joined forces to help farmers avoid becoming its latest victims.
A campaign, launched at Lanark Agricultural Centre, aimed at making farmers more aware of their vulnerability to crooks, has been going on for some months now but now the crusade has stepped up a gear with a Clydesdale farm being used as a `dummy’ scene-of-crime to show just how easy a target a steading can be - IF the farmer doesn’t take certain simple but effective measures.
A joint team from Police Scotland and NFUS ‘commandeered’ the Hyslop family’s Netherton Farm near Abington for this exercise, highlighting issues such as monitoring of entry points and discouraging unlawful trespass, workshop, tool and fuel storage security and discouraging trailer and quad bike thefts.
The exercise was led by Constable James Higgins, the Rural Communities Officer for Clydesdale, and security specialist Jamie Jeffrey of Tyger Security Ltd, assessing and offering their views on the effectiveness and advising of potential improvements to anti-crime measures already in place on the farm.
Those attending received advice on how to handle farm-targeted fraud through attempted bank account and website ‘scams’.
The eventalso included information on the benefits of LED lighting and a talk from N.F.U.Scotland Vice President Rob Livesey on various issues currently facing the industry.
There was also a talk on the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s new pilot scheme in this area, ‘mapping’ each of our farms in Clydesdale for potential fire hazards so that their crews are forewarned about what dangers and challenges lie ahead of them when called to a blaze at that particular farm.
A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “We are now working very closely with NFU Scotland on tackling rural crime but we still need the help of the public; anyone who sees anything suspicious going on near a farm, especially at night, should contact us immediately so we can take action,”