New Police Tractor helps prevent agricultural crime
This John Deere tractor is the Police's latest weapon against farm thefts
Devon & Cornwall Police have a new vehicle to help reduce agricultural crime.
The scale of thefts from farms has prompted the local force to start a new security scheme with the help of a blue and white police liveried tractor.
The tractor is on loan from the Lincolnshire police force which is also dealing with a rise in rural crime.
It's been drafted to promote awareness of the FarmWatch campaign.
FarmWatch has been set up by Devon and Cornwall Police to reduce the rising amount of agricultural thefts.
An event held at St Columb Major on Saturday 5 February saw officers of Devon & Cornwall Police, local police cadets and police dogs exhibiting the tractor and giving advice to farmers on how to protect their equipment from thieves.
Techniques include using watermarking farm equipment which can then be seen under UV lighting.
Farmwatch aims to get the local farming community identifying areas where thieves strike and to protect their equipment so it can be recovered if stolen.
Reflecting on Farmwatch, PC Alan Lenton said:
"We're trying to make things difficult to be taken, by identifying items, photographing them and having paperwork with makes, models and colours.
"We've got a number of farmers involved and we will hopefully, with their help, try and sort the problem out."
Helping the farming community
The campaign will enable local police to quickly identify farm and land owners as soon as an incident takes place, and then notify any nearby famers of any issues.
The John Deere is used by police constabularies throughout the country
Local farmer Yvonne Ellery thinks the scheme is a good idea:
"It's been very useful for us to know that there's somebody looking out for people. There's a lot of people looking over the hedges to see what farmers have got".
The tractor itself is a John Deere 6630 that has been re-sprayed and kitted out as a police car, complete with lights and sirens. The vehicle has been sponsored by the NFU.
It won't be used as an official police vehicle but is currently being used by the force to raise awareness of FarmWatch.
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