Show time for crime-buster tractor 

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With thefts of farm equipment escalating, make sure you are part of the fightback against the crooks by keeping yourself well-informed.

Over the coming months a branded tractor and RTV will be touring Scotland to raise awareness of the impact rural crime has on individuals and communities.

Last month in Kintyre alone, five quad bikes were stolen from farms in one night and none has yet been recovered.

The creation of the Valtra T174EA Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime (SPARC)-branded tractor follows on from the popularity of a similar branded tractor at the Royal Highland Show last year, which was created to raise awareness of the partnership at agricultural shows and to open discussion with the public and those within the agricultural industry.

This year’s tractor is supplied by Hamilton Ross Group in partnership with SPARC and will visit more than 30 agricultural shows across the country in the coming weeks and months.

The Hamilton Ross Group represents Scottish farm machinery dealers Hamilton Brothers, Reekie Ltd and Ross of Lanark.

SPARC is made up of 16 strategic partners from across the rural community including Police Scotland, NFU Scotland, Scottish Land and Estates and NFU Mutual, all working to combat rural crime, such as livestock worrying, fly-tipping, heritage crime, equestrian crimes, fuel theft, poaching and agricultural vehicle theft.

The shows and events the vehicles are going to include Royal Highland Show in June, and they will also visit Islay and Bute as well as a host of others across the mainland.

‘A key aspect of SPARC is to build confidence and trust among those living, working and enjoying Scotland’s rural communities that any crime-related issues affecting them are taken seriously, acted upon and understood,’ said Alan Dron, rural crime co-ordinator for SPARC.

‘Attending agricultural events and shows is just one way SPARC will be engaging with people.’

Eric Gardiner, managing director of the Hamilton Ross Group, said: ‘We are already delighted with the positive response from our partnership with SPARC. We hope that the SPARC tractor tour raises awareness of rural crime prevention and the security measures that can be taken to protect farm machinery.’