Police step up operations as rural crime wave continues

Police are appealing to the public to help them find the criminals
Police are appealing to the public to help them find the criminals

Police in Fife and Tayside are continuing their appeals for information and offering crime prevention advice to the public following a spate of rural crimes.

Several farms in both areas were targeted between November 24 and January 5, resulting in high-value thefts of vehicles, tools and farming equipment.

In North East Fife, several rural properties in Cupar and Howe of Fife reported break-ins and thefts of 4x4 cars, a Transit van and numerous other goods.

In the Tayside area, a farm in Dunning was subject to a theft of a quad bike on January 3, while two more quads were stolen from a farm in Easter Balgedie, near Kinross, sometime between the December 29 and 31.

In Kinross another farm reported the theft of two tracks, bucket and hitch from a Caterpillar plant machine sometime between January 4 and 5.

Local officers have since been investigating all of these incidents and anyone who believes they have information that can assist officers with their respective inquiries is asked to come forward.

As part of Police Scotland’s strategy for deterring rural crime, road policing officers regularly monitor the road networks in Fife and Tayside to conduct searches of any suspicious vehicles and identify anyone responsible for offences of this nature.

In addition, both divisions have been working closely with NFU Scotland to keep the farming community fully updated with the progress of these investigations and ensure they have access to all the relevant security information.

Police Scotland has a range of advice online to help the public safeguard their properties and rural residents and workers can also access a special crime prevention booklet by visiting www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe/home-and-personal-property/rural-crime.

Superintendent Graeme Murdoch in Dundee said: “Both Fife and Tayside have large rural communities and crimes that target farms can have a significant impact on the local economy.

“We are investigating all of these incidents thoroughly to identify those responsible and bring them to justice and I would ask anyone who believes they can help us to contact police immediately.

“By utilising a variety of national resources, including the Road Policing Unit, we are actively targeting rural crime offenders and sending a clear message that this sort of criminal activity will not be tolerated.

“Our communities, in particular those within rural areas can play a key role in helping us prevent crime by ensuring they have all the necessary security measures in place around their home, farm property and other associated buildings.

“Our website has a lot of really useful information that can help make your property a far less attractive target to criminals. Alternatively, members of the public can contact Police Scotland on 101 and speak to an officer about crime prevention.”