Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, has funded 150 security marking kits to be given free of charge to farmers following the rise in quad bike thefts across the county. The kits will be handed out at auction marts across the county with farmers being offered the opportunity for a Police Community Safety Officers (PCSOs) to visit their property and provide security advice.
The kits have been delivered to farmers at Kirkby Stephen Auction Mart on Monday 17 February and Mitchell’s Auction Mart in Cockermouth on Wednesday 19 February and Wednesday 26 February. The next event will take place at C+D Auction Mart in Longtown on Thursday 19 March delivering kits to Cumbrian farmers who wish to mark their property.
Police Officers and PCSOs in the south of the County identified and reached out to farmers in the area who would benefit from the kit with trackers being delivered directly to businesses.
The PCC funded a similar marking event in Kirkby Stephen in November 2019 through his property fund, an initiative that sees money that has been seized from criminals distributed across community projects with the aim of making local communities safer. The money was given to Country Watch Eden who offered CESAR security and installation to the public at a discounted rate of £50 down to £150.
Speaking about the events, Peter McCall said: “Cumbria is a mostly rural county with numerous rural businesses that are being targeted by criminals.
“Quad bikes and agricultural machinery are very expensive and to have it stolen can have a profound effect on farmers livelihoods which is why I was happy to provide funding for marking kits that make it more likely for farmers to get their property back.
“Taking these security steps is essential to the reduction of crime however we do need the public to work with the police and report anything suspicious and out of the ordinary.
“Locals know their area better than anyone and can spot anything unusual better than most – so please contact the police if you notice anything strange on 101 or 999 in an emergency.
“I know that rural communities often feel that they don’t want to get involved when reporting crime due to being part of a close-knit community.
“This is why we work with the charity Crimestoppers that offer 100% anonymous reporting to the public. Crimestoppers gives members of the public the opportunity to report any crimes without having to give personal details such as name and contact information.
“Let’s work together to make Cumbria an even safer place to live.”
Superintendent Carl Patrick, Cumbria Constabulary said: “These events we are attending provide a great opportunity for those living in rural areas to find out more information on how they can protect their livelihoods from potential thieves.
“Rural crime is a key priority for Cumbria Police and we look to work with farmers to prevent crimes occurring.
“Thieves are often opportunistic and will target expensive machinery or vehicles that have limited or no security. Taking advantage of the free security marking kits is an ideal step to take in protecting your possessions.
“Our officers will continue to work with partner agencies and rural communities in order to prevent further quad bike thefts from happening and bring those responsible to justice.”