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Construction Watch Scotland has been devised in partnership by Police Scotland, The Scottish Business Resilience Centre and Neighbourhood Watch Scotland following an increase in the theft of plant equipment, tools and stored fuel. It is also being supported by Secured by Design and Crimestoppers.

The new ALERT platform seeks to enhance awareness between construction and trade industries, as well as police, to ensure intelligence relating to criminal or suspicious activity at one location is quickly provided to others along with prevention advice.

It also will help inform communities living within or next to these areas.

The fuel thefts affect a wide range of people from individual's families heating oil tanks to small businesses and those managing land and estates across Scotland.

Similar ALERT platforms are already in place to tackle other forms of acquisitive crime as part of Rural Watch Scotland and Neighbourhood Watch Scotland.

Inspector Alan Dron from the National Rural & Acquisitive Crime Unit said: "We know that plant equipment, tools and fuel stores are often an attractive target for criminals, as they are of high value when selling on. Often site or vehicle security is breached during hours of darkness when there are very few potential witnesses, making it easier to make off with these items.

"The Construction Watch Scotland scheme allows those who are signed up to quickly be advised of offences or suspicious activity in their area, while recommending specific prevention measures that could be taken.

"Not only do we hope this will enhance our intelligence picture when investigating these incidents, but we are also looking to reduce the number of crimes occurring, with our ability to share information and make construction sites as uninviting as possible to serve as a deterrent.

"We've already seen the successful application of the ALERT platform through Rural Watch Scotland and Neighbourhood Watch Scotland and I'm confident Construction Watch Scotland will be of similar value in addressing construction and trade acquisitive crime."

Construction Watch Scotland is delivered by Neighbourhood Watch Scotland.

To find out more about Neighbourhood Watch Scotland go to: www.neighbourhoodwatchscotland.co.uk