Scottish hirers tackle equipment and fuel theft
By Lewis Tyler23 May 2023
The Scottish Plant Owners Association (SPOA) has announced a partnership with the Scottish Partnership Against Acquisitive Crime (SPAACE).
SPAACE, which is formed of organisations including Police Scotland, The Scottish Government, Trading Standards Scotland, Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland and HM Revenue and Customs, aims to tackle plant and fuel theft across Scotland, which is estimated to cause £800 million (€920 million) worth of losses to the industry each year.
Launched earlier this month at St James Quarter, Edinburgh, the partnership will see a specially branded JCB 3CX travel through Scotland over the next 12 months to raise awareness of plant and fuel theft, the importance of reporting it and measures on how to prevent it.
Staffed by Police Scotland, plant owners are invited to several events to get advice on plant and fuel theft prevention. It will visit the Drymen Show later this month, before appearing at the Royal Highland Show, Black Isle Show, Orkney County Show and Blair Horse Trials.
Callum Mackintosh, president of the SPOA, said it was “extremely proud” to represent the plant and construction industry in SPAACE; “By partnering on this strategy and taking the JCB on the road across Scotland, we hope to draw attention to the issue and highlight the importance of reporting theft.
“We know that there are serious organised crime networks behind plant theft - this is not an opportunistic crime. If the theft goes unreported it makes it very difficult for police to catch the criminals or even to spot trends and alert plant owners in certain areas to be vigilant, as we know that these criminal gangs tend to move from one area of Scotland to another.
“A special thank you to JCB and Scot JCB for supporting this initiative which demonstrates a shared vision to prevent plant theft which can be devastating for SPOA members. I hope that this collaboration will continue with other projects.”
Police Scotland’s Detective Superintendent Andrew Patrick, Acquisitive Crime Lead, said, “SPAACE aims to empower the public and improve Scotland’s sense of community wellbeing by raising awareness of the work being done to tackle acquisitive crime, while providing them with all the necessary information they need to help prevent being targeted by criminals involved in acquisitive crime.”
The collaboration, which also includes Neighbourhood Watch Scotland, Retailers against Crime and Secured by Design, isn’t the first time SPOA has looked to highlight illegal activity in construction.
In March, it called on the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) to tackle drug and alcohol abuse among plant operators in the construction industry, claiming the CLC “does not regard” the issue as a priority.