More police help in fighting rural crime

An extra police officer has been recruited to the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service’s (NaVCIS) agricultural vehicle unit to boost its fight against rural crime.

Experienced crime-buster, Detective Constable Adrian Mills. brings over 30 years in the force to the unit which is funded by rural insurer NFU Mutual.

Aimed at co-ordinating intelligence on stolen farm machinery between police forces across the UK, the unit also joins forces on raids to recover stolen machinery – recouping a haul of agricultural vehicles worth £2.6m in 2021.

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Commenting after the new post had been announced, Bob Henderson, agricultural engineering manager with the Mutual said: “Thefts from farms are extremely expensive, disruptive and upsetting for farmers.

“That’s why NFU Mutual supported farmers by investing £430,000 in rural security initiatives last year.”

Mills will be working with Detective Constable Chris Piggott, who has headed the NaVCIS agricultural unit for the last 10 years and who has been closely involved supporting and training police officers in identification of agricultural and plant machinery, supporting pre-planned warrants and conducting ports operations on a regular basis.

“While we’re now seeing fewer tractors being stolen, quad bikes are currently the top piece of kit on rural thieves’ shopping lists, followed by all-terrain vehicles and trailers,” said Piggott.

“Thieves are also continuing to target high-value GPS guidance systems used on tractors, combines and sprayers.”

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