A major crime fighting tool is to disappear from rural communities as officers in Lincolnshire say goodbye to the force tractor.
Launched last September to raise awareness of countryside crime, the tractor was loaned by manufacturer John Deere and given livery stripes in the Force’s colours, complete with blue light, by the National Farmers’ Union.
It came into service in September and will be gone at the end of this month.
The tractor played a crucial role in the Force’s work to tackle rural crime and support Operation Fusion, Lincolnshire Police’s initiative to tackle acquisitive crime.
It was the star attraction at numerous agricultural shows, farmers’ markets and rural events across the county.
It was not intended for use as an operational part of the Force fleet but rather a crowd-puller to raise awareness of Lincolnshire Farm and Country Business Watch and also educate farmers about the CESAR, the equipment and registration scheme for the construction and agricultural industry.
However, officers and the community made unexpected use of it during the recent heavy snowfall.
Chief Inspector Phil Vickers, who implemented the tractor campaign, has been delighted with its success and was particularly pleased when the tractor featured on the BBC Countryfile programme in a special report on tractor theft soon after its launch in the county.
“We have seen a significant increase in the number of local farmers joining Farm and Country Business Watch”, he said.
“Also, the tractor has been so successful in promoting the use of security tagging and tracking devices that our colleagues in neighbouring forces have borrowed it for their agricultural events.
“We shall be very sorry to see it go”.