NFU Cymru sounds security warning to farmers after quad bike thefts

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NFU Cymru is warning farmers to be extra vigilant and mindful of on farm security after the union was made aware of a series of quad bike thefts.

NFU Cymru is warning farmers to be extra vigilant and mindful of on farm security after the union was made aware of a series of quad bike thefts.

A growing number of farms in the Powys and Monmouthshire areas have been targeted by thieves in recent weeks, with several successful and unsuccessful attempts to steal quad bikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).

NFU Cymru President John Davies said: “Although these most recent thefts occurred in the Mid Wales and South East Wales areas, we’re encouraging farmers across the country to give urgent consideration to their on farm security. It seems the Coronavirus lockdown restrictions and the cold temperatures are doing little to deter would-be thieves from taking items, such as quad bikes and ATVs which are integral to our daily work, from our farms.

“It goes without saying that prevention is better than the cure and the most prudent advice is to make buildings, fields and vehicles safe and secure – don’t allow yourself and your business to be an easy target.

“I encourage anyone who sees any activity in or around the farm that they deem suspicious, no matter how insignificant, to report this information to the police on 101. It’s vital that our police forces are able to piece together a picture of the crimes occurring in our rural areas. Any information you provide could well help contribute to evidence leading to a successful prosecution further down the line.”?

Chief Insp Jacqui Lovatt said: “As a force we cover such a wide, rural area, we are dependent on people informing us when they see something suspicious or a crime being committed.

“We rely on the public to be our eyes and ears. Many of their reports have led to arrests, crime prevention, crime detection and prosecutions.

“If you have been the victim of crime or you have seen someone acting suspiciously, please get in touch. You can do this by phone, email or online so it has never been easier.”

Machinery Theft:

Steps you can take to prevent machinery theft happening on your land:

  • Where possible, vehicles should be housed in a lockable garage or building, ideally with security lighting installed to the perimeter.
  • Vehicles should always be locked when not in use, with the keys kept hidden and locked away in a secure location.
  • Keep recordings or photographs of serial numbers and vehicles as these can be crucial in recovery, should the worst happen.

Steps you can take to prevent theft of Quads and All-Terrain Vehicles:

Steps you can take to prevent theft of Tractors:

  • Mark machinery with DNA marking devices and SmartWater tools
  • Sign up to CESAR, an agricultural equipment registration scheme, which increases the chance of recovering stolen goods by helping police identify stolen machinery
  • Have the Vehicle Identification Number etched on windows. This makes the vehicle more detectable and less appealing to thieves because they have to grind out the numbers.
  • Install immobilisers, chip keys and trackers as these are a simple way to deter criminals or track vehicles and can be fitted easily by an experienced agricultural engineer. 

AnchorFuel Theft:

Steps you can take to prevent fuel theft happening on your land:

  • Store fuel tanks within secure buildings or cages, keeping them locked and alarmed.
  • Install an anti-siphon device on vehicles.
  • Protect fuel tanks by equipping them with an alarm that will sound when fuel levels drop.
  • Install CCTV that focuses on fuel tanks.
  • Keep a regular inventory so you can identify missing fuel.

AnchorLivestock Theft:

Steps you can take to prevent livestock theft happening on your land:

  • Padlock all gates.
  • Ensure stock is clearly marked and records are up to date.
  • If possible, graze livestock away from roads.
  • Check stock regularly and at varying times.
  • Consider a high-tech system such as TecTracer, which puts thousands of coded microdot markers into the fleece. The codes are virtually impossible to removed. Use signs to show that livestock are marked with the product.
  • Ask neighbours to report unusual vehicles loading sheep.
  • Gate or fence alarms.

What to do if you are a victim of livestock theft:

  1. Contact the police immediately (999 if a crime is in progress, 101 if it has already happened).
  2. Contact your insurers who will provide further advice. At NFU Mutual, farmers are covered for theft and mysterious disappearance. It must be reported to the police and a crime reference must be given
  3. Use social media. The more details you can share on social media, such as sheep breed, age, marking, ear tag numbers, the better.

AnchorWho to call and when?

Urgent: If a crime is in progress dial 999.

Non-Urgent: Dial 101 to report a crime after it has taken place.

A number of neighbourhoods have WhatsApp groups to report suspicious activity in the area, join your local group to be kep in the loop.

NFU Cymru members:

Last edited: 15:22 on 07 January 2021

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