NFU Lock it or Lose it campaign launched

Thieves have been hammering the rural community of Cumbria for a year now with Cumbria Constabulary confirming that farms in the county are the primary target.

A staggering 104 quad bikes have been stolen in Cumbria in the months between November 2019 and October 2020. Twenty-seven of these thefts took place in a single month alone.

As we enter the winter months and the beginning of early dark nights, the NFU is urging its members to protect themselves with the joint launch of its ‘Lock it or Lose it’ campaign in partnership with Cumbria Constabulary and Carrs Billington.Rural crime_69428

Cumbria Constabulary says it’s continuing to see a high number of quad bike thefts, and when other farming machinery is included in the figures, a worrying picture emerges.

Superintendent Carl Patrick, force lead for rural and wildlife affairs, said: “We have recently seen an increased number of thefts within the rural community, specifically quad bikes. This type of crime disrupts our communities and adversely affects the local economy.Superintendent Carl Patrick_75694

“As well as reporting incidents such as a suspicious vehicles or persons it’s important that simple and basic steps are taken to protect your property such as ensuring outbuildings are locked and that tools and machinery are kept out of sight.

“Installing tracking devices to property is also a great security measure and can help significantly within an investigation to locate the property. Markings or data tags are also really helpful so we can identify who the items belong to if found.

“We have Police Community Support Officers specially trained to undertake crime prevention surveys in rural locations. Farmers should book a survey now via 101, or e-mailing MTAxQGN1bWJyaWEucG9saWNlLnVr.

“The officers will assess the farm and perhaps provide some free crime prevention tools such as property marking equipment kindly provided by the Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall.”

NFU Cumbria County Chairman Ian Bowness, who farms at Threapland Lees in Wigton, says now is the time for farmers to do everything in their power to help themselves and the police.

Ian said: “Via our Lock it or Lose it campaign the NFU will reemphasise to the Cumbrian farming community the importance of protecting their premises and property. The Rural Crime Hub on has a wealth of free advice I’d urge all farmers to take look at.Ian Bowness, County Chairman, Cumbria, North West_72107

“Every NFU member in Cumbria will soon receive a flyer in the post to inform them about an exciting range of crime prevention equipment affinity deals and discounts which could save them money at point of purchase whilst also possibly lowering insurance premiums for some.

“I’m delighted local dealership Carrs Billington is supporting our campaign and look forward to working with them on some exciting projects in the coming months.”

Steps farmers can take to prevent machinery theft happening on their 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.
  • Invest in a bespoke quad security device or a quality padlock and chain.
  • Never leave your keys in the ignition, even if you only briefly leave your ATV unattended.
  • Keep gates to yards closed as open gates can be an open invitation to thieves.
  • 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.
  • Make sure the Vehicle Identification Number is etched on windows.
  • 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.

    The NFU Rural Crime Hub can be found here:

    © 2021 - NFUonline