Police unveil rural crime initiative

Dorset Echo: Mike Fry, of MJ Fry Agricultural Engineering; Daniel Chippendale, of Zetor UK; Temporary Chief Inspector Shawn Whitley and Matthew Price of NFU Mutual. Mike Fry, of MJ Fry Agricultural Engineering; Daniel Chippendale, of Zetor UK; Temporary Chief Inspector Shawn Whitley and Matthew Price of NFU Mutual.

Dorset Police has unveiled its latest weapon in support of the Force's rural crime campaign-a tractor.

The tractor was on show at Scats Country Store in Dorchester as part of a National Home Watch event.

Since August 2011, Zetor UK has donated a tractor to Dorset Police. The tractor is used at events to help Safer Neighbourhood Teams promote rural crime prevention tactics.

Inspector Les Fry said: “Dorset Police is very grateful to Zetor UK who has yet again provided us with a tractor. The tractor is a significant asset to the Force's priorities in supporting Neighbourhood Policing in rural areas of Dorset.

“We want members of the public to know that while Dorset has some of the lowest figures for rural crime, it does still happen and we are committed to making people aware of the measures they can take to keep their properties and businesses safe.”

Residents and businesses can help protect themselves by following these simple crime prevention steps: · Lock windows and doors, remove keys from locks and keep out of visible reach.

· Mark equipment and property with your name and postcode. Fit asset tracking devices. Use a UV pen, engraving, stamping, tagging or forensic marking.

· Report all suspicious activity to the police via 101.

Inspector Les Fry continued: “Businesses should consider a range of measures to protect their property. This could include installing Stop That Thief alarms which notifies owners if or when people enter their property. This should be done in conjunction with suitable other crime prevention tactics.

“This is the third tractor Zetor UK has offered to us free of charge and we hope that many more members of the public will take an interest in the tractor and the Safer Neighbourhood Teams in the months ahead.

“Dorset Police work with a range of partner agencies, which includes the National Farmers' Union (NFU), Crimestoppers, NFU Mutual, Kingston Maurward College and MJ Fry Agricultural Engineering to tackle this crime and keep our rural communities safe and feel safe.”

Each tractor that has been donated to the Force is used for around six months, especially during the busy summer period when rural events are in season. The tractor is then sold on. The current tractor is a Zetor Major 80 and is used as the centre attraction at events.

Other police forces and agencies also have use of the tractor. This year it has already been used by Sussex Police, and by Hampshire and Thames Valley police forces in previous years.

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