Farmers advised to take steps to secure property
Police are reminding the rural farming community to take extra care of their farm vehicles and agricultural equipment at this busy time of year.
Many farmers are working long hours on their land dealing with crops and stock and this means expensive equipment is in daily use across the countryside.
To help prevent crime and reassure the community, officers are carrying out targeted patrols in rural Northumberland to tackle crime and deter thieves.
Superintendent Mick Paterson said: “We work closely with the farming community throughout the year and now want to give them a timely reminder to keep vigilant and to make sure they keep their expensive equipment and farm machinery safe and secure.
“We want to ask people to keep the flow of information about suspicious activity coming in to us by calling 101. We will act on the information you give us and we will respond to it.
“We recently recovered two stolen quad bikes as a result of information we were given from the farming community, so this system does work to help you.
“Our neighbourhood officers regularly carry out targeted patrols to catch offenders, keep our roads safe and stop criminals from committing offences in Northumberland.”
Police are also advising owners of farming equipment to consider fitting a tracking device to help officers locate any stolen equipment. It may also be worth checking with your insurance company as you may get a discount if you fit such security devices to your property.
Officers offer the following advice: Keep the ignition keys stored safely, separate from any vehicles; report any suspicious behaviour to police; keep your vehicles and farming machinery in a locked building not left out in the open; make sure the building is secure and consider installing a ground security device; where possible keep your smaller items such as quad bike behind a larger heavy vehicle such as a tractor, making it more difficult for thieves to get access to.