New initiative launched to tackle rising theft from construction sites amid spate of incidents in Perth and Kinross

A police alert platform aimed at tackling a rise in thefts from construction sites and fuel thefts has been launched across Scotland.

It comes after a number of similar incidents have been recorded in Perth and Kinross in recent months.

A quantity of red diesel was stolen from a building site near Glenalmond Road, Blairgowrie in mid-March.

A few days later, an unsuccessful attempt was made to steal red diesel from a tank at a nearby site off Elm Drive.

In February, police launched a manhunt for a man suspected of stealing fuel oil from a property in Pitlochry on three separate occasions.

In February 2022 alone, nearly half a million pounds of equipment was stolen across the country.

Last month over £11,000 of stored fuel was stolen.

Amid the ramp-up, the new ALERT platform aims to build awareness between the construction and trade industries, as well as the police, to ensure that intelligence relating to criminal or suspicious activity at a location is quickly provided to others, along with prevention advice.

Construction Watch Scotland was developed in partnership by Police Scotland and Neighborhood Watch Scotland.

Fuel theft affects a wide range of people, from single families heating oil tanks to small businesses and those managing land and estates across Scotland.

Similar ALERT programs are already in place to tackle other forms of acquisitive crime through Rural Watch Scotland and Neighborhood Watch Scotland.

Perth and Kinross Local Area Commander Chief Inspector Tom Leonard welcomed the initiative and reported local incidents.

“Unfortunately we have seen a number of such incidents in Perth and Kinross over the past few months with crime reported in a number of areas including Rattray and Perth,” Chief Inspector Leonard explained.

“It only takes a minute for these crimes to happen and the impact on businesses can be devastating.

“I welcome the introduction of this new initiative and encourage people to sign up.”

Inspector Alan Dron of the National Rural and Acquired Crime Unit said: ‘Often site or vehicle security is breached during hours of darkness when there are very few potential witnesses, which makes it easier to escape with these objects.

“The Construction Watch Scotland scheme allows registrants to be quickly notified of breaches or suspicious activity in their area, while recommending specific preventive measures that could be taken.

“Not only do we hope this will improve our intelligence picture when investigating these incidents, but we also seek to reduce the number of crimes that occur, through our ability to share information and make construction sites as unattractive as possible to serve as a deterrent.

“We have already seen the successful application of the ALERT platform through Rural Watch Scotland and Neighborhood Watch Scotland and I am confident that Construction Watch Scotland will have similar value in tackling acquisitive crime in construction and trade.”

Further information can be found by visiting the following website: www.constructionwatchscotland.co.uk

Alice F. Ponder