SPARC Welcomes Jailing for Three Years of Farmers with Stolen Sheep

The Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime has welcomed the sentencing to three years in prison for two farmers in the North of England found in possession of 115 sheep worth £25,000.
Charles Raine, 66, known as Neville, and his nephew Philip Raine, 47, from County Durham, were sentenced earlier this week at Teesside Crown Court in Middlesbrough.

The sheep had been stolen from farms in County Durham, North Yorkshire and Cumbria over a three-year period.
Chief Superintendent Gavin Robertson, who chairs SPARC, a multi-agency group which focuses on rural crime prevention and investigation, said the sentences sent a stark warning to people involved in the theft of livestock or receiving stolen animals.
He said: “Dealing with livestock theft is a key priority for SPARC and members fully recognise the impact on farmers and their businesses.

“This case clearly shows that the threat of livestock theft can also come from within the farming industry/rural community itself. While some livestock theft involves local criminals supplying local recipients, we also know that some criminals are prepared to travel considerable distances to carry out this type of crime.
“Sheep or cattle stolen anywhere in Scotland could end up in England and Wales, or vice versa. Although the sheep in this particular case were stolen from various regions of England, they could just as easily have been stolen in the Scottish Borders, Dumfries and Galloway or elsewhere in Scotland.
“We are working with farmers and breed societies to develop and enhance crime prevention methods and practice. We also exchange information and expertise with police forces and the Rural Crime Network in England and Wales.
“Vigilance by farmers and rural communities is essential in preventing and detecting this type of crime, and we would urge anyone with information on those who steal or receive stolen livestock to report it to Police Scotland direct or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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