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Police in Neston, Cheshire West, have held their first Rural Watch meeting to introduce local farmers to forensic marking products.
The meeting was also attended by councillors and wardens from Cheshire West and Chester Council. PC Paul Barlow, Beat Manager for Neston, explained that the aim of the Rural Watch programme is to build better relationships, improve communication, and prevent under-reporting of rural crime and suspicious people in rural areas.
The authorities are promoting communication tools such as the Cheshire Police Alert for rural farms; and use of SelectaDNA forensic marking kits to mark farm equipment including tractors, hedge trimmers, tools and ride-on mowers.
SelectaDNA doesn’t just help recover valuable equipment in the event of theft. It helps prevent theft, says the product makers. By marking equipment with SelectaDNA – a formula of DNA, UV tracer and microdots – criminals view items marked with SelectaDNA as too high risk and are further put off from stealing them as they have little or no resale value, it’s claimed.
Neston’s Beat Sgt Daniel Greenhalgh said: “We want to drive this forward and encourage more of the farming community to get on board, along with stable yards and other rural locations. This first meeting was very encouraging. Closer ties will be vital in the fight against criminals who target rural communities and farms. In future these meetings will be held quarterly.”