NFU helps keep crime-fighting drone aloft

04 July 2023

Five people standing in front of a gazebo, including a police officer who is holding a drone

The launch of the drone at Frome market. L to R: Andrew Smith, Emily Martin, Pc Stefan Edwards, Jeremy Padfield, Lindsay Isgar

Avon and Somerset Police have unveiled a new drone that has been partly-funded by the NFU, in a collaboration to help fight rural crime.

The Stratton office and the NFU contributed £600 to buy batteries for the drone, enabling it to spend longer in the air so that officers have more chance to gather film evidence for potential prosecutions.

The rural crime team brought the drone to an event at Frome market, where 23 local farmers were able to get their trailers security-marked free of charge.

Benefits of data tagging

Stratton group secretary Andrew Smith said: “Thieves cannot remove the micro-dots put on with data-tagging and once the details are linked to a database, the owner of any trailer that is stolen can easily be traced.”

He added that research had shown data tagged trailers that were clearly marked were much less likely to be stolen.

Rural Affairs Unit Sgt Katie Maun from Avon and Somerset Police said: “Trailer marking is an important crime prevention method to safeguard trailers and machinery which is often targeted by criminals. The trailer marking kits act as a deterrent to thieves but also make identifying the owners of stolen property more likely.”

Crime concerns addressed

Chief Constable Sarah Crew also took questions from farmers, addressing concerns over various aspects of rural crime including hare coursing – a major problem in parts of Somerset and neighbouring Wiltshire.

She even had a go at marking the trailers herself.

“It was brilliant to see the great dedication of the Rural Affairs Unit officers and understand the impact machinery theft can have on a community,” said Ms Crew.


Read more on NFUonline

This page was first published on 03 July 2023. It was updated on 04 July 2023.

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