A super-secure tractor is to begin a tour of major rural events in the Thames Valley in a bid to reduce crime.
The John Deere tractor will carry a variety of security technology and tags, and will be taken to countryside events by neighbourhood teams.
It will be used to demonstrate the benefits of fitting a Cesar security marking scheme, tracking and anti-theft devices.
The tractor is being supplied by Farol tractor dealers and when not being used, will be kept at their dealership in Thame.
The arrangement was set up by PC Paul Gregory from the Thame Neighbourhood Team. He said: “The tractor will act as an engagement tool at large countryside events.
“We will fit it with as much security technology as possible and use it to draw people in and allow us to explain why it is vital tractors and other farm equipment is made as secure as possible.
“The average new tractor costs around £60,000 but this can rise to £120,000, which makes it equivalent to a Bentley.
“Anyone with one of these vehicles would protect them as much as possible, and at the very least fit them with a tracker and anti-theft device and I hope this tractor will allow us to educate people into doing the same with their agricultural vehicles.
“I would like to extend our thanks to Farol and John Deere for supporting this initiative and allowing us to use their tractor.”
The scheme is also being supported by the NFU Mutual. Although they don’t have a requirement for tractors to be fitted with tracking devices, substantial discounts are available to vehicles.
In 2010, 228 plant and agricultural vehicles were stolen. In 2009, there were 254 similar offences. Last year in England and Wales 1,975 tractors and other agricultural vehicles were stolen at a cost to the NFU Mutual in excess of £10m.