Helping Kent's farmers protect their property from thieves
Published 18 January 2018
Kent farmers are having tools, machinery and fuel tanks marked with SmartWater to protect their property and deter thieves.
Victim Support has used money it receives from the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner to buy 200 SmartWater kits. Officers from Kent Police have been visiting rural areas across the county to mark up valuable items and erect signs warning would-be burglars to stay away.
Matthew Scott, Kent’s PCC, said:
‘It is important that we take steps to help rural residents and business-owners protect their property. Isolated farms are vulnerable by their very nature, but I’ve made it clear that crime is important no matter where it takes place in Kent. For farmers who are repeat victims, losing a few thousand pounds’ worth of equipment here and there soon adds up. ‘Earlier this month I was able to get out with local officers from Kent Police to talk to farmers based between Canterbury and Dover and see the property marking initiative for myself. It was clear that farmers are appreciative of the proactive steps we are taking to protect them and it was pleasing to see the services I’ve commissioned Victim Support to deliver are making a difference.’
David Naylor, Contract Account Manager at Victim Support, said:
‘Thefts of this nature can have devastating effects with victims and their families being impacted both financially and emotionally. We are very pleased to be able to support the local community in attempting to prevent such crimes and making it easier for victims to have their property returned should they be targeted. We support victims of all crimes, and anyone seeking practical help and emotional advice can contact us on our free 24/7 Supportline on 0808 16 89 111 or via our website – www.victimsupport.org.uk’
Police Constable Richard Callaghan from the Dover Community Safety Unit is one of the officers who has been meticulously marking farmers’ property. Each item receives a dab of SmartWater, which is only visible under UV light. Items are also photographed and have their unique serial numbers recorded by Kent Police.
This means each item can easily be traced back to its rightful owner if is stolen and recovered.
PC Callaghan said:
‘We pride ourselves on getting out into our rural areas regularly to understand their needs and receive intelligence. Isolated buildings, farms, machinery and livestock are all targets for criminals so proactive work and engagement with our farming communities is key to helping prevent and detect crime. ‘We still have a number of the SmartWater kits provided by Victim Support and the PCC available so if anyone would like us to come and secure their property they can contact us on 101 or via the Kent Police website.’