Rural Watch Scotland

Neighbourhood ALERT leads to arrest

During the early hours of Sunday 6th January, local officers at Dunoon Police Station on the Cowal Peninsula, Argyll, took a report of a Citroen Berlingo van with two males on board as having stolen a quantity of lead and copper from a dwelling house near to Ballochyle Farm, on the outskirts of Dunoon.

Officers responded promptly, conducting enquiries at the location. With attending officers having gleaned a good description of the vehicle involved, Sergeant Donald MacKay without delay, sent out a Neighbourhood ALERT which was received by in excess of 1000 users in the area, with many of those forwarding the Alert onto other strands of social media. A number of calls and messages were received with one in particular, from a Rural Watch member in Cairndow, Argyll, leading local officers to the vehicle concerned – some 25 miles away from the crime location. The vehicle was found to contain the stolen metals. The two males were detained in custody for court and their van seized due to having no policy of insurance.

Sergeant Donald MacKay – Rural Watch Co-ordinator for Argyll & West Dunbartonshire commented; “This is a great example of our community working together to keep our rural areas safe through timely communications on Rural Watch. We had a number of messages / calls in relation to this incident. I take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support to Rural Watch and ask that you continue to spread the positivity to further increase affiliation in 2019, allowing us to cover every nook and cranny of our rural localities – with your eyes and ears on the ground alongside Police Scotland.”

Area Commander – Chief Inspector Douglas Wilson further commended Rural Watch – “This is an excellent example of how by working together we can protect people and businesses within our rural areas, I hope to use this example to build on the already established Rural Watch Scheme”.

To learn more about reducing the risks of rural crime go to: