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Farmer urges others to get trailers marked at upcoming event after theft

Three officers with one farmer

Agricultural machinery and vehicle theft is one of the most prevalent types of rural crime, with the cost of stolen property running into tens of millions each year.

Theft of farm trailers, which are in high demand, is sadly on the rise and many farmers have become victims of this crime.

Neil Macdonald, a 54-year-old farmer and manufacturer from Hornblotton, near Shepton Mallet, was a victim of trailer theft when his bespoke apple harvesting trailer was stolen.

The Rural Affairs Unit (RAU) has recently reunited Mr Macdonald with his stolen trailer after it was recovered from a location in Somerset.

Mr Macdonald said: “We have suffered from rural crime in the form of theft of equipment both in our farmyards and off-farm. Trailers are sort after and we have now made sure to get extra protection for our equipment through marking.

“Regular communication with the RAU has kept us current and thinking about our crime prevention on a regular and needed basis.”

The RAU are now encouraging more people to take preventative measures by hosting a trailer marking event tomorrow (Wednesday 12 October) at Frome Market, in Standerwick, Frome, from 9am to 2pm.

The team said:One of the best ways to deter criminals is to ensure farm vehicles are marked using security or forensic markings.

“We will be providing a limited number of agricultural trailer marking kits free of charge to attendees at the market tomorrow, thanks to partners DATATAG and Cornish Mutual.”

The marking kits will allow farmers, like Mr Macdonald, to protect their goods and act as a deterrent to would-be thieves and help to reunite them with their stolen goods if and when they are recovered.

Mr Macdonald has now ensured several his trailers have been marked after the most recent theft. He said: “Preventing a theft is far easier than dealing with theft and loss of a working asset. We have been exceedingly well supported with assistance and advice on marking from the RAU.

“You must do what you can to prevent crime. There are so many little things you can do to deter criminals and not all these methods are costly or time-consuming. Let it be in your culture to consider what might prevent the problem.”

Come along and meet the team on Wednesday 12 October at Frome Market from 9am to 2pm.

To find out more about Farm Watch and our Rural Affairs Unit, visit their Facebook page.