The Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime (SPARC) is a multi-agency partnership involving key organisations whom collectively work together to prevent, reduce and tackle rural crime and focus on 7 key priorities; Hare Coursing, Livestock Offences, Heritage Crime, Fuel and Timber Theft, Agricultural and Forestry Machinery, Plant and Quad/ATV Theft, Equestrian Incidents and Fly Tipping. For more information of SPARC and the Scottish Rural Crime Strategy visit

In terms of overall rural crimes reported during November, for the 2nd month in a row, there has been a downward trend in reported incidents across Scotland compared to the same period last year. The Lothians and The Scottish Borders along with The Highland & Islands had the highest number of reported incidents, (although much lower than normal) with theft of Agricultural Machinery, Plant and Quads then Livestock Attack incidents accounting for the greatest number of offences.

Legislation was updated in October 2021, Dogs (Protection of Livestock) (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2021. Changes include camelids such as llamas and alpacas, together with ostriches, game birds and farmed deer now being protected.  Also the inclusion of the word “attack” has been added, which reflects the more serious aspect of such an incident.  The new law also includes provision to fine the owners of dogs that attack livestock up to £40,000 or even send them to prison. The legislation is being successfully used by police to investigate incidents and is key, along with the education of dog owners, to reducing incidents. It is vital that such incidents are reported to the police and we encourage anyone witnesses such incidents to report them.

We’re urging dog owners to follow these tips;- Keep your on a lead at all times when near agricultural land or farm animals.
– Keep the lead short (2metres or shorter is recommended).
– Avoid taking your dog into a field where there are lambs.
– In open land, stay distant from sheep.

You can visit to find out more information on Staying Legal in Scotland.

As we fast approach the winter solstice, it is as important as ever to be mindful of the security of your items of value around our homes and places of work. You can play your part and make your community hostile for criminals to operate within.

Be alert and report all suspicious activity, persons and vehicles, using Police Scotland 101 or Contactus via the Police Scotland website  (In an emergency always dial 999) or anonymously via Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111

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