South of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine has welcomed the announcement of funding to sponsor a Police Scotland National Rural Crime Co-ordinator post dedicated to tackling rural and agricultural crime in areas like Dumfries and Galloway.
The £75,000 funding provided by NFU Mutual will also fund the provision of specialist training to increase the detection and seizure of stolen agricultural vehicles and plant, and it builds on previous work done by the Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime (SPARC), a multi-organisation partnership that works together to prevent rural crime and protect rural communities.
Welcoming the announcement Joan McAlpine said:
“The funding to create this new post is very welcome news. It is good to see the specific challenges of rural and agricultural crime being tackled in such a focussed way and I look forward to seeing the new programme of training being rolled out across Scotland, particularly in Dumfries and Galloway which is home to a large proportion of Scotland’s farms.
“Rural and agricultural crime can have a devastating impact on those affected by it. Far beyond the monetary loss of around £2 million a year, the loss of time, of equipment and resources and, sadly, sometimes the theft of livestock, can have a damaging impact on morale and confidence, as well as a financial impact on rural businesses.
“I look forward to the work of the new National Rural Crime Co-ordinator helping to reduce rural crime and to increase the recovery of stolen equipment.”