Rise in theft of materials from construction sites highlighted at Highland roadshow
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A noticeable peak in theft of materials from construction sites over the festive period when sites were closed has been highlighted.
A campaign, featuring a Police Scotland liveried JCB 3CX, visited Inverness in a bid to tackle plant and fuel theft across Scotland.
Tradespeople and plant owners are being urged to report suspicious activity as criminals, often highly-organised gangs, will spend a period of weeks scoping out a target.
Police Scotland’s Rural and Acquisitive Crime Unit has been working with the Scottish Plant Owners Association to tackle plant and fuel theft across Scotland as part of the campaign launched in May 2023.
The biggest trend currently is fuel theft, the theft of trailers and the theft of tools from work vans which are often parked at the homes of tradespeople when the theft occurs.
There was also a noticeable peak in theft of materials from construction sites over the festive period when sites were closed.
Tradespeople and plant owners can sign up to Construction Watch, a free service and part of Neighbourhood Watch.
Police Scotland is also appealing to tradespeople and plant owners to also report suspicious activity by calling 101 or using Crimestoppers.
People signing up to Construction Watch will receive alerts and actionable advice and measures to take if acquisitive crime has taken place recently.
The police map crime in Scotland and can spot trends including organised gangs moving from region to region which will trigger an alert to all registered users.
Police Scotland is also advising people to invest in suitable security and take into account the value of property most likely to be targeted by criminals.
It says CCTV, padlocks, security lighting and marking-up tools with DNA kits are among the measures which can deter criminals.