Mechanics and police officers from across Scotland are being brought up to speed on the CESAR (Construction & Agricultural Equipment Security Register) Marking Scheme to deter the theft of plant, agricultural and construction vehicles.
Statistics from the Plant and Agricultural National Intelligence Unit indicate a CESAR - registered vehicle is 4 times less likely to be stolen – but if the worst happens, it has six times more likely to be recovered.
Each CESAR registered vehicle is fitted with highly visible, tamper-evident identification plates, Datatag transponders, unique Datadots concealed in the machine and an invisible forensic DNA marking solution.
Today (Tuesday 8th March 2016) Police Scotland ran an Installation Course for around 20 mechanics, and tomorrow there will be a one-day course for officers on CESAR.
Quad bike and All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) theft is one of the key priorities identified SPARC (Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime) group. More than 80% of quad bikes stolen in Scotland are snatched in Lanarkshire, Lothians and Scottish Borders, Ayrshire and Fife.
Local policing teams are working with partners in prevention, intelligence gathering and enforcement.
A number of arrests have already been made and several vehicles recovered. By working together, officers have already seen a reduction in the number of thefts and the CESAR scheme is providing even more peace of mind for owners.
Chief Supt Gavin Robertson, Chair of SPARC, said: “Police Scotland is pleased to have delivered these training events in collaboration with the CESAR Scheme and Datatag. SPARC members have been very encouraged by the reductions in the theft of quad bikes and all terrain vehicles achieved so far but we are determined to do more to prevent this type of crime and further reduce its impact on farming, forestry and rural communities.
"Our vision is that, in the future, all new quads / ATVs sold in Scotland will be fitted with CESAR as a first line of defence to deter thieves and reduce the desirability of stolen vehicles on the illicit market.
Dave Luscombe is Strategic Alliance Manager for Datatag ID Ltd, which operates CESAR in the UK. He said: “Datatag is delighted to be able to support Police Scotland in their efforts to tackle rural crime through the roll out of the official CESAR Scheme in Scotland.
"We are confident that, as a result of this training and increased awareness of CESAR, Police Scotland officers will be able to make a real and significant impact on rural crime.”
NFU Mutual Rural Affairs Specialist Tim Price said: “As the insurer of more than two-thirds of Scotland’s farmers, we have found CESAR marking is an effective security measure to both deter thieves and help police and customs officers detect and recover stolen vehicles.
"To help farmers cover the cost of fitting CESAR and other approved security devices to tractors, NFU Mutual offers substantial premium discounts to policyholders - so it’s well worth attending a security event.”
Andrew Midgley from Scottish Land & Estates said:
“Scottish Land & Estates is very supportive of this initiative. The loss of equipment can cause large problems for land managers and lead to the loss of working time, delays in harvesting or other operations, expense of hiring in alternative equipment and increased insurance premiums. If we can get more farm and forestry machinery CESAR registered we will be able to reduce the risk of thefts and so reduce the costs to the rural economy”.