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Awareness of rural crime the focus of Scottish Land & Estates’ event

Preventing rural crime, and learning more about legal issues that farms and estates should be aware of, is to be examined in an event organised by Scottish Land & Estates next month.

The Rural Crime Awareness Event, to be held on Thursday 1 October at Stair Estates in Stranraer, will hear from police officers, lawyers and representatives of BASC Scotland, who will provide an overview of the current crime issues and offer advice on best practice for land managers.

The event, which is sponsored by Anderson Strathern, is open to both members and non-members of Scottish Land & Estates and is free of charge.

The opening session of the morning will see Sergeant Neil McPherson of Police Scotland and Jonathan Guy, partner at Anderson Strathern, give a presentation on firearms legislation with specific reference to rural businesses.

Following this, Inspector Stuart Wilson will address rural crime, its reporting and handling, as well as improving communication and issues surrounding the impact of social media on offences in rural areas.

After lunch, Chief Inspector David McCallum and John Mitchell, partner at Anderson Strathern, will provide a presentation on wildlife crime and address the reporting process and how such offences are dealt with.

Immediately following this, Kenny Willmitt from BASC Scotland will provide expert advice on legal snares and traps, and examine what is illegal for farmers and estates to set.

Finally, Jonathan Guy will give the last presentation of the day on health and safety legislation with a focus on rural businesses.

Throughout the event, there will be opportunities for questions and answers on each of the presentations.

Chief Inspector Irvine Watson said “Early discussions between Scottish Land & Estates, Stair Estates and Police Scotland realised the benefit of pulling together an event that would focus on the various aspects of rural crime, targeted towards those who it impacts upon as well as utilising the experience each of those groups have to offer. It provides an opportunity to inform and educate a wide variety of stakeholders and concerned parties, maximise shared learning and enhance working relationships.

“The format of the day will provide factual updates and create a forum for discussion in how best to deal with or tackle specific aspects of rural crime. Given the breadth of experience and expertise that will be attending this event from various quarters there is no doubt that there is something for everyone who may be impacted upon by this time of crime or issue.”

Simon Craufurd, South West Regional Manager at Scottish Land & Estates, said: “Tackling rural crime has been steadily gaining prominence over the last year and we are pleased to be organising an event that can provide practical advice to land managers on how to avoid crime from occurring. This examines farms and estates being victims of crime to ensuring that rural businesses themselves are complying with current legislation.

“We would encourage anyone who wants to learn more about the current approach and issues around rural crime to attend.

“We are delighted that officers from Police Scotland are sharing their time with us, and thank Anderson Strathern for their participation and event sponsorship.”

John Mitchell, Partner, at Anderson Strathern, said: “It is important that rural businesses and land managers are fully aware of the recent developments in crime affecting rural areas, both on how to report and lower the risk of crime occurring but also to ensure that businesses themselves are not unwittingly committing offences in the course of their normal activities.

“With the help of Police Scotland, we hope to answer as many questions as possible and also provoke discussion on areas of crime that may not have been front of mind issues previously.”

For more information on the event visit or call Scottish Land & Estates on 0131 653 5400.



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