A RURAL forensic marking scheme is being launched in the Scottish Borders to cut crime on farms spread over a large geographical area covering approximately 5,000 square kilometres (2,000 square miles).
Around 200 farms will benefit from the new SelectaDNA marking scheme, which will see them target-hardened and transformed into hi-tech ‘forensic farms’. The scheme has been funded by Police Scotland and the Community Planning Partnership at Scottish Borders Council.
According to NFU Mutual’s annual rural crime survey, rural theft cost an estimated £37.8m in the UK during 2014 – down 15% on 2013’s high of £44.5m.
“These latest rural crime figures are still way too high and farms in the Borders are repeatedly targeted for acquisitive crime by opportunist thieves and organised gangs,” said PC Nick Walker, Crime Prevention Officer with Police Scotland. “Quad bike theft is a particular problem, along with theft of tractors, 4 x 4 vehicles and power tools, as well as livestock. The aims of this scheme are to help prevent and also help detect theft from farms throughout the area.”
SelectaDNA is a traceable forensic marking solution with a unique DNA code that can be easily applied to items of value such as farm equipment. In the event that any items are stolen and recovered by Police, they are immediately traceable back to the individual farm.
NFU Scotland is assisting Police Scotland with the selection of the ‘forensic farms’, choosing vulnerable and previously targeted ones that would benefit from property marking and promoting the scheme to their members.
“This is a wide-reaching scheme covering farms right across the area from Coldstream to Cockburnspath, from Eyemouth through the central Borders across to Peebles and south through Hawick to Newcastleton. Police Scotland will be working in partnership with the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service to deliver the kits and also offering farm fire safety and general crime prevention advice” PC Walker added.
“We are also using perimeter warning signage and window stickers to deter thieves by alerting them to the fact that valuable items on the farms have been marked. We are determined to target thieves wherever they operate to ensure that our rural communities are safe from those trying to profit from criminal gain.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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