Partners working together to tackle rural crime

Inspector Jane Donaldson

In this guest blog, Police Scotland’s rural crime co-ordinator Inspector Jane Donaldson tells us more about the Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime.

Most people in rural areas experience low levels of crime but it is recognised that rural crime has a disproportionate effect as victims can feel a greater sense of isolation and vulnerability. 

A partnership approach is an effective way to reduce crime in rural areas by targeting offenders and enhancing crime prevention. The Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime (SPARC) was set up to coordinate the activities of the 13 local groups across the country, one in each police area, who work together with partner organisations to prevent crime and protect rural communities.

SPARC, launched in June 2015 is now well established and, in addition to Police Scotland representatives, includes members from the National Farmers Union (Scotland), Scottish Land and Estates, Scottish Business Resilience Centre, Scottish Government, NFU Mutual Insurance, Confor, Crimestoppers, Neighbourhood Watch Scotland, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service and Scottish Fire and Rescue

Chaired by Chief Superintendent Gavin Robertson, this group meet every two months in order to drive and support prevention, intelligence gathering and enforcement activity across Scotland, specifically targeting resources at the key rural crime issues affecting each local area.

The key aims of SPARC is to provide a cohesive and consistent preventative approach to Rural Crime across Scotland through the interaction between a number of agencies and partner organisations within Scotland and beyond. 

Since its launch in 2015 SPARC has been involved with many projects and initiatives to develop prevention opportunities to mitigate the threat from rural crime. These include a Guide to Security in the Rural Environment, promotion of location finder apps for rural locations, target hardening the rural environment through forensic marking schemes and the expansion of the CESAR scheme for agricultural vehicles and co-ordinating a national anti-worrying campaign.

Further information about SPARC or the activities of local rural crime groups can be obtained by contacting Police Scotland’s rural crime co-ordinator Inspector Jane Donaldson,