Scottish farmers warned of Winter thieves

As the colder months approach, farmers and crofters in Scotland have been advised to remain vigilant in protecting their property. 

According to National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Scotland, there have been a number of incidents in recent weeks. Those involved in the industry are being urged by the union to ensure that their locks are secure, equipment is put away at the end of the working day, and to take simple measures to ensure the security of their possessions.

A £70,000 tractor from a North-End farm, a high-value tractor and forklift from a Fife farm, and various pieces of equipment and machinery were all taken in the East Lothian area recently.

The NFU Scotland has been working in conjunction with Police Scotland over the last 18 months to ensure that farmers and crofters make their properties more secure and to report and suspicious activity to police on 101.

There has been a series of events held by NFU Scotland in partnership with agencies to deter thieves, including ensuring all padlocks are effective, CCTV is fully functioning and floodlighting is working.

“As the nights draw in, it can be all too easy for people to become complacent about security, making them the ideal target for opportunist thieves,” said Gemma Cooper, NFU Scotland policy manager.

“According to NFU Mutual, last year alone rural crime cost Scotland £1.7 million with the most commonly targeted items by thieves over the last 12 months being quad bikes, tools from farms and businesses and oil and diesel.

“Farmers are having to stay one step ahead of thieves and face a continual battle to protect their property. It is only continually reviewing and improving their own practices and security features that will allow them to ward off thieves.

“Our key advice is to make sure security equipment is fully operational, all machinery, and equipment, including trailers, are locked away in sheds or buildings overnight and the keys stored away from windows and main doors in houses. By making time to take simple precautions now could save you a lot of time, money and hassle in the future.”

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