Farmers in Uttlesford have been given unique forensic property marking kits to help protect their equipment from thieves.

Three years ago, the Uttlesford Community Safety Partnership (CSP) launched the Reach Our Rural Communities campaign, which identified 204 working farms across the district.

Uttlesford Community Policing Team has now secured funding from the CSP to offer the DNA kits to all the working farms.

Saffron Walden Reporter: Signs warn potential thieves that farm equipment is protected by property markingSigns warn potential thieves that farm equipment is protected by property marking (Image: Essex Police)

Sergeant Kevin Mayle said: "Farmers and landowners can feel isolated and we seek to provide them with reassurance and crime prevention advice, and support victims of crime while our partner agencies tackle other issues arising from loneliness and isolation.

"So we jumped at the chance to obtain the SelectaDNA kits for our farmers to protect their valuable machinery and equipment from thieves.

"We know the financial and psychological effects that such thefts can have and the huge disruption the loss of agricultural machinery and vehicles can have on rural farms and businesses.

"Each kit includes a solution, containing a unique DNA code, and an identity number which, together, make marked property easily traceable back to its owner.

"It’s fairly simple to prove the items have been stolen, so they become too hot to handle, which can be an effective deterrent to thieves. And the evidence is indisputable in court."

Uttlesford CSP is writing to every working farm identified by the Reach Our Rural Communities campaign, inviting them to contact the community policing team and ask for a kit.

Alternatively, farmers can book an appointment by emailing

Kevin said: "We’ll hand-deliver the kits and show farmers how to use them.


"They can then mark their own property and put up the special signs which tell would-be thieves that the equipment and machinery on that farm is protected.

"I know it’s a busy time for farmers so they are welcome to contact us when it suits them and we’ll arrange a visit.

"Of course, that’s also a good opportunity for them to ask us questions and speak to us about local issues which matter to them.

"The information will help us to target our operational resources and identify emerging crime trends."