Training day organised to help Scotland’s police fight rural crime


A POLICE training day spotlighting rural crime trends and security system developments is being held at Lanark Auction House on November 21.

The event is being organised by the Combined Industries Theft Solutions forum (CITS), an organisation dedicated to reducing the effects of crime on the construction industry and farming communities.

It is being supported by leading rural insurer NFU Mutual, which provides financial support and expertise to the Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime (SPARC) initiative.

The training day will provide Police Scotland’s officers, PCSOs and staff with opportunities to learn about the latest crime trends and security measures. It will include presentations from the UK’s foremost rural security experts including DC Chris Piggott, the UK’s international police liaison officer, and Bob Henderson, Head of Engineering at NFU Mutual.

There will also be practical demonstrations of security systems being developed to protect valuable farm equipment from determined thieves. Organisations and companies taking part include the National Construction and Agricultural Theft Team (NCATT), CESAR machinery marking systems, Hitachi, Clancy and Murphy.

NFU Mutual’s latest Rural Crime Report revealed that rural crime cost Scotland nearly £1.4m last year, a fall of 48% from 2021. However, the fall came after Scotland was hard hit by thieves in 2021, with the cost of rural crime in the country rocketing 52.3% to £2.6m.

Bob Henderson, Head of Engineering at NFU Mutual said: “Rural crime is costly and highly distressing for farmers, so we’re delighted to be supporting this training event.

“The cost of rural crime in Scotland fell in 2022 – which could be due to the SPARC initiative that we help fund. However, the cost of farm theft shot up in the rest of the UK and we need to keep up to date on latest trends and security systems to keep determined organised criminal gangs at bay.

Ian Elliott CITS Chair and Group Head of Security at The Clancy Group, said: “We’re holding this event to help Police Scotland tackle organised criminal gangs who are making theft a huge problem for farmers. CITS works with police, crime-fighting organisations and machinery manufacturers including Clancy’s, Hitachi and Leica to provide officers with the knowledge and detection techniques to combat theft.”

For more information on rural crime trends and advice, visit:

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