Criminals travelling to the Borders

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Local Democracy Reporting Service

At a meeting of Scottish Borders Council’s police and fire safety board, councillors heard how criminals are travelling from outside the area and targeting rural properties using sophisticated techniques to steal vehicles and belongings.

Chief Inspector Stuart Reid said: “We do try to be a travelling deterrent to criminals travelling from other areas. We are live to the intelligence that says we are being visited from travelling vehicles from across the border in particular, and we have a roads vehicle which carries out patrols.”

Councillor George Turnbull, who chairs the police, fire and rescue board, commented: “We’ve worked extensively with the NFU, and with the farming community, to protect the likes of agricultural vehicles, and things like that. We had a spate of Ford Transits being stolen, where people could buy a key for £25, and get into the van to rewire it. There’s quite sophisticated methodology in these targeted crimes.”

Chief Inspector Reid agreed that the sophistication of these crimes is always developing explaining that colleagues have seen small tracking devices fitted to the bottom of cars of people attending an event, so the criminals can track the car back.

“There’s also technology where they use signal boosters,” said Chief Inspector Reid. “If you’ve got your car in the driveway, and the key will be sitting in the hallway or at the back door, they can use a device to boost the signal from the key to the car, open it and get away without even breaking into your house.”

The report, presented by Chief Inspector Reid, said: “ Police Scotland will conduct road checks on our main arterial routes and vulnerable sites to detect, disrupt and deter travelling criminals.”