Cumbria’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC), Peter McCall, is urging rural residents to lock up their quad bikes and any other pieces of agricultural equipment as we head towards summer.
Since January 2023, 18 quad bikes have been stolen in Cumbria. Livestock are also at risk of theft, with 117 sheep being stolen so far in 2023. Fuel theft has also affected the rural community, with 33 reported fuel thefts taking place in the same timeframe.
PFCC, Peter McCall, said: “As a largely rural county, Cumbria has many rural businesses farms and residential properties, often in isolated areas. This can make the county a key target for organised crime gangs looking to steal and sell expensive agricultural equipment and other property.
“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 become a victim of crime, 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 and even simply ensuring doors and windows are secured. It is also worth considering technical prevention equipment such as CCTV.
“I know that these simple steps can be time consuming and of course do not come free, however, it may save your property in the long term.
“I would urge all rural residents to report any suspicious behaviour – you know your communities better than anyone so you may notice something that others don’t, and we can all help the police to help us.
“If you see anything out of place, please report it to 101 or 999 in an emergency.
“Together we can make Cumbria an even safer county.”
Police Comment Cumbria Constabulary’s Rural Crime Lead, Chief Inspector Lee Skelton said: “We work hard to target and disrupt those committing crime in our rural communities.
“Cumbria is predominantly rural, and we know the area is often targeted by criminals travelling to our area.
“We work closely with neighbouring force to target criminals crossing our borders.
“Any theft of equipment, vehicles or livestock can have a devastating impact, not just through the financial loss but also the loss of equipment which is vital in assisting farmers in their everyday working lives.
“I continue to urge people to take their own steps to make their property as difficult as possible to target whilst calling on people living in rural communities to report any suspicious activity so that my officers can respond and take action.”