Shutting The Gate On Rural Crime

Monday, 13 May 2013

A NEW scheme which aims to stop farmers from being left vulnerable to equipment and machinery theft, has been launched by Buckinghamshire County Council.

The Council is working in partnership with local neighbourhood police teams to offer Buckinghamshire's farming community crime solutions including SelectaDNA property marking kits.

Around 500 farms across the County will benefit from the scheme, which also offers rural crime prevention packs and face to face visits from local neighbourhood officers to vulnerable residents, or repeat victims of crime in the community.

Rural crime comes in many different forms, ranging from offences against wildlife, such as hare coursing, theft of fuels including diesel and heating oils and stealing metal.

Farms are increasingly targeted by thieves, due to the high value of metal and plant machinery (tractors, trailers, quad bikes etc) held on the land combined with the remoteness of many farms making them easy to target and more vulnerable.

The DNA kits will enable people to permanently mark any of their property with a special solution containing a unique DNA code. If a marked item is stolen and recovered, police can analyse the code and trace it back to the registered keeper. Signage will also go up at properties using the DNA technology, warning possible burglars that Selecta DNA is in use in the area, to act as a deterrent.

Inspector Emma Garside, rural neighbourhood Inspector for Aylesbury Vale, said: “We want to continue to reduce crime across our rural communities and reassure local people that this type of offending matters as much to us as it does to them. The use of forensic marking products sends a clear message to potential criminals that we will identify them, signs and stickers act as a visual deterrent to prevent thefts occurring in the first place."

Welcoming the initiative, Martin Phillips, Buckinghamshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Community Engagement said: "This project will help us in our crackdown on metal thieves and give more farmers and residents the opportunity to get their valuable possessions marked. As well as the property marking, this initiative will give us the ideal opportunity to speak to people and offer them crime prevention advice."