Borders Police will work alongside partner agencies next week as part of a series of events promoting fire safety and security in the countryside.
The Farm Fire Safety and Crime Prevention Event is open to all farmers and will be held on Monday, October 26, with the aim of delivering expert advice as well as providing a forum where rural crime and fire-related issues can be discussed.
Entry to the informal ‘walk and talk’ is free of charge with doors opening from 6-8pm at Whitsome East Newton Farm.
The event will see representatives from Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and NFU Scotland on hand to discuss the various topics. In addition, practical demonstrations will be delivered showcasing security systems, crime prevention equipment and fire safety techniques.
PC Nick Walker said: “Local farmers have the opportunity to meet with us and discuss specific crime and fire prevention issues and look at potential solutions.
“Our aims are ultimately to decrease the level of thefts and fires occurring at our farms within the Borders by increasing farmer’s awareness of general crime and fire prevention techniques, and to demonstrate specific measures farmers can take to protect their property.”
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service added: “Farm safety and security is a major concern for emergency services across the Borders. Not only are there considerable risks to life and property, particularly in relation to farm fires and incidents, there is also a significant financial impact for farmers which can have a knock on effect for local economies.
“SFRS staff in the area have taken the opportunity to work in partnership with Police Scotland and NFU Scotland to pro-actively engage with the farming community to help reduce the number of criminal and fire related incidents.”
NFU Scotland branch chairman for Mid and East Berwick, Alistair Hodge commented: “Rural communities are being targeted by thieves more than ever and we need to take measures to guard ourselves against both opportunistic and organised gangs. It is not just the initial loss and anguish suffered but the longer term inconvenience and increased insurance premiums as a result. This event will provide those in the rural community with tools on how best to protect their property.
“Fire can cause a significant amount of damage, and again we are noticing an increase in farm fires in this area. We need to take the relevant precautions to ensure farms are protected from fires where possible and work with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to reduce the potential for this to happen.”
For more information ring 01835 823204.