Rural crime is a concern for many of our communities in the South West and we recognise that the effects of this can be significant for those who live, work and visit the countryside. Rural crime typically includes break-ins to rural premises, theft of machinery or fuel, damage to property or land, and crimes against livestock or wildlife. As well as the personal impact, the financial cost of rural crime is substantial and, according to NFU Scotland, costs rural communities almost £2 million a year.
Officers in South West chair the Edinburgh Partnership Against Rural Crime, which includes a number of partners such as the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, Scottish Natural Heritage and NFU Scotland. We work closely together to deliver educational inputs around the prevention of rural crime, utilise our resources to solve these crimes when they do occur, and to ensure that we are delivering an effective and sustainable service which meets the needs of these communities.
There will be a rural crime prevention event for the farming community held at Harlaw Farm from 10am to noon on Monday, December 19, organised by officers and NFU Scotland. Officers will be providing crime prevention and security advice on buildings, livestock, vehicles and equipment while conducting a walkthrough of the farm. This is the first event of this type in the South West, and people can keep an eye on our social media channels by following @EdinPolSW on Twitter and liking ‘Edinburgh Police Division’ on Facebook for further details.
During October we used the feedback provided by residents of the South West, as well as local officers and partners, to restructure the community policing team. We want to be able to provide the best possible service to our communities and be better able to respond to your concerns. Changes include realigning the shift patterns so we can be most visible at the times and in the areas where recurring issues, such as anti-social behaviour, are reported.
I’m really encouraged by the opportunities which lay ahead for us and our communities in terms of local policing. We have very positive relationships with partners who we continue to work with to provide a strong policing service for residents. We’re always looking for feedback, and you can visit scotland.police.uk/yourviewcounts to give yours.
Chief Inspector Helen Harrison is Area Commander for South West of Edinburgh