A spate of high-profile farm thefts and repeated assertions that Fife is the rural crime captial of Scotland have led to the formation of a Fife Partnership against Rural Crime.
The group, which was launched at Broomhill House near Dunfermline, is part of the national Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime (Sparc), a multi-agency partnership involving key organisation such as Police Scotland, the farmers’ union, Food Standards Scotland and young farmers.
The launch was followed by a knowledge transfer meeting with members of Scottish Land & Estates and Broomhall Estate where attendees heard about farm security measures that can be put in place to deter criminal activity as well as equipment that can be used to help detect stolen property.
Fife’s Crime Prevention Officer, PC Fraser Laird, urged farmers and landowners across the region to join the Rural Watch emailing list, which receives and sends alerts about suspicious vehicles or activity in the region.
More than 600 people have signed up already to the regular communication, which informs subscribers about metal and machinery theft or sends descriptions of vehicles or people who are selling chainsaws or other equipment which has obviously been stolen.
“It is a two-way arrangement,” said PC Laird.
“We send out any information we have that can be passed on, but we are also looking for people to be the eyes and ears of the community and get in touch with information, so that people are prepared when an unexpected vehicle turns up on the farm.”
To sign up for Rural Watch visit www.neighbourhoodwatchscotland.co.uk