SPARC Rural Crime Update
The Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime has shared an update of the latest developments in rural crime:
- As with the past few months, for the month of October again in terms of overall rural crimes reported and from all estimated and actual costs quoted, Lothians & Borders division followed by Aberdeenshire and Tayside divisions were the most targeted. Total cost of reported rural crime across Scotland totalled £360,865 with the main offences reported being theft of agri + plant equipment. A total of £54,000 has been recovered this month, the majority of which relates to stolen agricultural plant, machinery and quad bikes. This compares to a total reported rural crime figure of £148,834 and a total of £39,000 recovered in October 2019.
- The benefits of forming local PARC’s was highlighted when a prolific individual who has spent his life targeting rural communities including theft of plant equipment, quads and trailers along with fuel and tools in Ayrshire, Dumfries & Galloway, Lanarkshire and East Renfrewshire was apprehended after a vehicle pursuit involving traffic vehicles and the police helicopter. The male was responsible for theft of a trailer on the Whitelee Windfarm site, Eaglesham Moors and as an indication of how significant an apprehension this has been, individual has subsequently been remanded in HMP Kilmarnock. A full recovery of stolen property was made plus the apprehension was made possible due to the early reporting of someone on site to police who were aware of the partnership approach adopted for Whitelee.
- Through excellent enquiry instigated and linked together by Allan McK then past to the relevant divisions, a police operation was developed to focus on the numerous theft of high value GPS systems from agricultural machinery in various parts of Scotland. A individual has now been apprehended and is subject to a report to the Procurator Fiscal. Since the male was caught, theft of the GPS systems in Scotland has significantly reduced however these still seem to be the focus of much criminal activity south of the Border.
- Following some enquiry work by Jamie S then linking into colleagues based in Tayside, a male specialising in rural housebreakings and theft of tools etc from rural businesses in the Blairgowrie and surrounding Perth area was apprehended and subject of a report to the Procurator Fiscal. Some stolen items have been recovered and male now on a curfew bail.
- In terms of cross border activity, ‘Operation Hawkeye’ continues to strengthen as although several rural related crimes which were committed, the proof of concept worked well with information being shared quickly under Operation Hawkeye banner. This resulted in couple of quad bikes and a stolen trailer totalling £34,000 being recovered in Northumbria plus in a separate incident a male was charged by Durham Constabulary for the theft (and recovery) of another quad bike from Melrose area.
It is undoubtedly through the strong, sustainable and visible partnerships promoted via SPARC, coupled with the Rural Crime strategy and development of local PARC’s that is now resulting in criminality being regularly apprehended for crimes and offences committed in rural communities and environment.