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. The new project aims to raise awareness amongst the rural community. The campaign will be launched at Police Headquarters in Ipswich, Suffolk on October 19 with Chief Constable Simon Ash, Ann Scott, Eastern Regional Manager for Crimestoppers and Stuart Chapman, head of Tracker’s Police Relationship Team. Ann Scott, said, '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.'
Rural crime is significantly denting the UK economy, an estimated £50 to £70 million worth of plant and agricultural machinery is stolen nationally every year, and only 5% of this stolen property is ever recovered. 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. Scott continued, 'As a leading expert in stolen vehicle recovery (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 both opportunistic villains and organised gangs.'
Tracker’s range of SVR products work like electronic homing devices; a covert transmitter is hidden in one of several dozen places around the agricultural vehicle or machinery. There is no visible aerial, so the thief won’t even know it’s there. Unlike other systems, Tracker’s devices work no matter where the vehicle or equipment is hidden even abroad. Thatcham-approved, Tracker’s range of SVR solutions bring owners the ultimate protection against the permanent loss of their assets.
In addition, Tracker recently launched the Mesh Network, which allows any vehicle fitted with Tracker Plant to act as a listening device. When a vehicle fitted with a Tracker Plant unit passes Tracker SVR-equipped vehicle that has been reported stolen, it automatically sends a signal to Tracker providing the location of the stolen asset even if it is hidden in a garage, container or underground car park. Both drivers are completely unaware that the stolen vehicle has been identified by Tracker’s Mesh Network.
Stuart Chapman, head of Tracker’s Police Relationship Team, explained, 'Farmers are particularly vulnerable to criminal activity, and the huge cost of lost plant and agricultural machinery dwarves the small fraction of stolen equipment that is recovered. However, with over 90% of stolen vehicles fitted with a Tracker device returned to their owners and 80% of these are recovered within 24hrs, installing a tracking unit is a highly effective way for farmers to safeguard their investment and livelihood.'
The rural crime campaign comes following the partnership of Tracker and Crimestoppers earlier this year, which extended Tracker’s strong network of relationships aimed at protecting the farming and agricultural industries. NFU Mutual, which estimates that approximately £1.5million of construction and agricultural machinery is stolen every week in the UK, offers members a 12.5% discount off premiums if they have a Tracker device fitted. Farmers who also mark tractors and plant with CESAR database registration, along with fitting a Tracker stolen vehicle recovery unit, are rewarded with a further 12.5% discount, giving a total saving of 25%.
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.'
This new campaign is designed continue the good work already done in increasing awareness of this serious national problem. The public can ring the anonymous 24/7 telephone number 0800 555 111 to pass on information about crimes or fill in an anonymous online form on the website www.crimestoppers-uk.org click here for Crimestoppers
For Tracker product and pricing information please visit www.Tracker.co.uk click here for Tracker