Stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) expert Tracker and independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers, are leading the fight against rural crime by launching a new campaign to help tackle what has become a serious and costly issue. This new project aims to raise awareness amongst the rural community as a whole.
The campaign will launch at Police Headquarters in Ipswich, Suffolk on October 19th 2012 and will feature chief constable Simon Ash, Ann Scott, Eastern regional manager for Crimestoppers and Stuart Chapman, head of Tracker’s Police Relationship Team.
Rural crime is significantly denting the UK economy - an estimated £50 million to £70 million worth of plant and agricultural machinery is stolen nationally every year, and only 5% of this stolen property is ever recovered*. And the effects go beyond short-term monetary losses. Stealing valuable equipment has a lasting effect on its victims, who are unlikely to carry on their day-to-day work without them. Thieves see plant and agricultural equipment as easy to steal from outbuildings on farms due to limited surveillance and lack of street lighting away from urban areas.
Crimestoppers Regional Manager, Ann Scott, comments, “With Tracker and Crimestoppers we are fighting back against rural crime. We will be attending agricultural shows to provide information, as well as distributing leaflets and posters across the local area to offer advice to the community.
“As a leading expert in SVR, Tracker is the perfect partner for this campaign. By installing a Tracker unit, farmers can take a proactive step in protecting themselves from the growing threat of vehicle and equipment theft. Tracker systems are operated by all 52 police forces in the UK making it a vital weapon in the fight against crime, helping to catch opportunistic villains and organised gangs.”
Crimestoppers’ director of operations, Roger Critchell, said: “The recession has increased pressure on rural communities and this makes it more important that the public, who may have vital knowledge, have a safe and anonymous way to give information through Crimestoppers. Recent successful campaigns to fight rural crime include Farmers Fighting Crime Initiative and Automatic Number Plate Recognition, which can track unfamiliar vehicles in rural areas. We looked at the threat of travelling criminals who commit rural theft, and the importance of information and intelligence. We are very proud of the results of these campaigns and intend to build on their success with Tracker.
“We know that this new campaign will continue the good work already done in increasing awareness of this serious national problem. The public can ring us on our anonymous 24/7 telephone number 0800 555 111 to pass on information about crimes or fill in an anonymous online form on our website www.crimestoppers-uk.org."
Chapman concludes, “We are extremely excited to be working with Crimestoppers to try and finally turn back tide of farm machinery and equipment theft and put the power firmly in the hands of plant and agricultural machinery owners. We aim to use this campaign as the platform to help the rural community eradicate theft.”