PC Ash Weller and Keith Handley, who is in charge of Watchwords for the Cotswolds, have created this information and advice concerning the increase in thefts of Quads and ATV’s.
According to the NFU, farm machinery totalling £5.4M* was stolen in 2016.
Gloucestershire is rated 4th as the most targeted county with a cost to the insurers of £1.607M* (a 38.1% increase over the previous year).The Quad Bike is one of the top pieces of machinery now targeted nationally.
Locally, theft of Quad Bikes has increased dramatically mainly due to being left insecure and their ease of removal from the premises. Most Quad Bikes can fit into a large panel van and then out of sight. Opportunists may just use a trailer behind a vehicle.
The cost of Quad Bike theft nationally is £2M*. Losing a Quad Bike to a farmer can be costly and like a sheep farmer losing his sheep dog. It cannot be replaced overnight.
So, what can be done to protect the Quad Bike?
- ALWAYS secure and immobilise your Quad Bike when not in use. DO NOT LEAVE THE KEYS IN THE IGNITION! Use the National Property Register www.immobilise.com to register your property.
- Do not leave in open view/isolation when not in use.
- Get a tracker*1 or similar fitted which will enable the monitoring company to track the Quad Bike when notified it is missing. DO NOT LET IT BE KNOWN A TRACKER IS FITTED.
- Consider fitting an immobiliser which needs a special fob to ‘enable’ the ignition circuit.
- Leave in a secure building and park a vehicle in front of the door (assuming only one door) overnight.
- At the end of the day or when not in use for a long period, consider using suitable anchor plates and correct fixing bolts (do not fix in tarmac), steel stanchion or securing to another vehicle in the secure room using heavy duty chain/padlock and alarm cable.
- Take a photo of the Quad Bike and any recognisable damage etc. Record make, model, colour, chassis number etc and have details readily available. Security mark your property.
- Report immediately (using 101 unless a crime is being committed, then use 999) any suspicious vehicles or persons paying attention to your or neighbours premises. Try to get as much detail as possible ie registration number, make, colour and model of vehicle. Description of any person, a photo if possible. DO NOT PUT YOURSELF AT RISK WITH ANY CONFRONTATION.
- Ensure you have good security systems in the areas where you keep farm machinery and are operational (check it out to see alarms work). LED security lights now provide excellent levels of lighting at a very low cost (compared with tungsten halogen lighting). If you have CCTV view what it is recording, ensure camera lens is clean. Dual infra red beams at an entrance will activate as soon as both beams are broken and can initiate audible alarms and put on security lights.
Gloucestershire Police can visit your premises and advise on farm security. Contact your local Police Station or visit www.gloucestershire.police.uk Join Rural Watch if not already a member.
*NFU Rural Crime Report 2017 *1 Contact NFU or Gloucestershire Police for details. a/08/17