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Midlothian farmers take on rural crime

Grant Ritchie, Monteith Farm Steadings, Gorebridge, a local farmer who has had enough of rural crime and thinks the law now favours the criminals.

Grant Ritchie, Monteith Farm Steadings, Gorebridge, a local farmer who has had enough of rural crime and thinks the law now favours the criminals.

Midlothian farmers have warned they may take action themselves to defend their property as the legal system is “in favour of the criminals”.

Grant Ritchie, of Monteith Farm Steadings, near Gorebridge, recently had two bikes stolen worth £8,500. When asked if he felt there had been a rise in rural crime, he said: “It’s exploded. In the last 10 years it has been building up.

“I don’t blame the police, the legal system is totally inadequate now, it’s in favour of the criminals.

“I think more and more farmers are going to take action themselves as the police are doing nothing about it.

“Whether it’s paying someone to drive around at night to keep a watch or starting vigilante groups, I don’t know.”

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