Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, is urging rural residents to lock up their quad bikes and any other pieces of agricultural equipment as summer ends.
Since January 2022, 40 quad bikes and 66 pieces of agricultural equipment have been stolen in Cumbria. Fuel theft has also affected the rural community, with 74 fuel thefts taking place in the same timeframe.
Livestock thefts also affected rural residents, with 22 thefts taking place. Sheep were the most targeted with 13 thefts involving sheep, six thefts involving chickens were reported, one report each for pony, goat and fish theft.
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “As we head towards autumn, opportunistic criminals will use the darker nights to steal expensive pieces of equipment from our rural residents.
“Therefore, it is essential that we make it as difficult as possible for thieves to access our property, including any livestock.
“Simple actions can really help make it harder to be victimised, including ensuring that any equipment keys are kept out of sight and in a secure location when not in use, placing locks on all outbuildings and installing some form of security markers on our property.
“I understand that these simple steps can be time consuming but it may save you from being burgled.
“I would also urge residents to report anything suspicious that they might see – you know your area better than anyone else, so if you see anything that seems out of place, please call the Police on 101 or 999 in emergencies.
“Together we can make Cumbria a safer place to live, work and visit.”
Chief Inspector, Lee Skelton, said: “Tackling and deterring rural crime remains a priority for Cumbria Constabulary.
“Our county is made up of mostly rural communities, and many rely on farm machinery, fuel and livestock for their livelihood, and we understand the impact that crimes targeting theses have.
“Cumbria Constabulary deploy a number of tactics and operations to disrupt rural crime and work with neighbouring forces to gather intelligence, enforce and investigate.
“We urge anyone living and working within our rural communities to make it difficult for thieves to take equipment by ensuring vehicles and machinery are not easily targeted, where possible make sure equipment is out of plain sight, locked/disabled and if possible, a tracker fitted.
“We urge rural communities to report any and all suspicious sightings as they are happening. If you see rural machinery or vehicles such as quad bikes in an unusual location or being towed or moved in manner that doesn’t seem familiar or right to you, please contact us so we can respond.
“Finally, we urge anyone with information regarding rural crime or suspicious second-hand market activity concerning farm plant machinery and vehicles to contact the police or independent charity Crimestoppers.”
In an emergency call the Police on 999
For non-emergency enquiries call 101 or contact www.cumbria.police.uk or call 101