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Crime prevention measures ‘don't mean cheaper insurance’

 
Created on 29/11/2019 @ 08:04
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

More use of trackers and Smartwater could help prevent farm vehicles being stolen in the Welshpool area, but one councillor says it doesn’t mean cheaper insurance premiums.

Powys County Council, (PCC) Community Safety Partnership, co-ordinator, Fay Smith updated councillors at the Economy, Residents, Communities and Governance Scrutiny Committee on the latest crime issues effecting the county.

This year vehicle offences have gone up by 15.7% – a total of 140, up by 19 incidents – compared to 3% nationwide and quad bikes have been targeted by criminals.

Llanfair Caereinion councillor, Gareth Jones, said: “It was brought to my attention recently that there was not much difference in the insurance premiums for (quad) bikes that have got a tracker, or not.

“Could we work with someone to give people an incentive to have trackers fitted to trace bikes if they get stolen.”

Ms Smith replied: “We recently revamped the Rural Crime Partnership and on that group there are representatives of farming unions at these meetings, I will take that point forwards.

“We would like to see trackers used more – but as you say there is no incentive to do so.”

Cllr Iain McIntosh added: “Could we extend that from quad bikes to include trailers, bailers and pretty much all agricultural vehicles?

“It should apply to all those things to make sure there’s less incentive to steal those too?”

Ms Smith said that she would include them adding that Dyfed Powys Police had focussing on combating Quad bike theft.

Another deterrent could be to use a technology from the recent past.

Cllr Kelvyn Curry, asked: “It was an initiative that’s eight to 10 years old by now, called Smartwater. It was a liquid that you would smear or paint on to your equipment, farm, household or property.

“It was traceable as each one had a unique code and would show up when scanned and you could tell where it had been stolen from.

“Do police still use UV (ultra-violet) lamps to check stuff that’s been nicked in that way?”

Ms Smith said: “Yes as far as I know it’s still operational and ties in with rural crimes. I recently submitted a bid on behalf of the Rural Crime Partnership to the (Dyfed-Powys) police and crime commissioner and part of that is for Smartwater.

“When I put the bid together, I asked police officers do you still have UV lights? Yes, they still have them. I would hope that if you reported a theft and said you had used Smartwater they would know how to use it.”

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