A NEW scheme which aims to curtail rural thefts has been launched by Buckinghamshire County Council.
The council is working with police to offer the rural community discounted machinery identification systems, and property marking kits.
Around 500 farms across the county will benefit from the scheme, which offers rural crime prevention packs to participants.
Vulnerable residents, or repeat victims of crime in the community, are offered face to face visits from local neighbourhood officers.
Rural crime ranges from offences against wildlife, such as hare coursing, to theft of fuels including diesel and heating oils and stealing metal.
Rural areas are increasingly targeted by thieves, due to the high value of metal and machinery, including tractors, trailers and quad bikes.
Remote farms are particularly at risk because they are easy to target and more vulnerable.
The DNA kits will enable people to permanently mark any of their property with a special solution containing a unique DNA code.
If a marked item is stolen and recovered, police can analyse the code and trace it back to the registered keeper.
Signage will also go up at properties using the DNA technology, warning possible burglars that Cesar and Selecta DNA are in use in the area, to act as a deterrent.
Inspector Emma Garside, rural neighbourhood Inspector for Aylesbury Vale, said: "We want to continue to reduce crime across our rural communities and reassure local people that this type of offending matters as much to us as it does to them.
"The use of forensic marking products sends a clear message to potential criminals that we will identify them, signs and stickers act as a visual deterrent to prevent thefts occurring in the first place."
Martin Phillips, cabinet member for community engagement at Buckinghamshire County Council, said the project would help crack down on metal theft.
"As well as the property marking, this initiative will give us the ideal opportunity to speak to people and offer them crime prevention advice."
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