Cumbria’s crime commissioner is appealing to farmers to take up the free security marking kits to help protect their property from organised crime gangs.
Peter McCall, the commissioner, has funded 150 kits and 50 are still available to any farmer or rural business owner to request.
The kit will be delivered to the farmer by their local PCSO, socially distanced to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.
Mr McCall, said: “Cumbria is a rural county and criminals target these rural areas with the hope that they are more vulnerable and I know that this is a real concern in isolated areas and for farmers.
“We have been working closely with the NFU, insurers and equipment manufacturers together with neighbouring forces to improve rural security but it is also incumbent on us all to review our own security and do what we can to minimise the attractiveness of our property to criminals.
“Quad bikes in Cumbria have been targeted by criminals and it is one of my priorities to prevent this, as well as other types of rural crime.
“This is a first-come, first-served offer, so anyone that would like one should contact their local PCSO before all kits are gone.
“Working together we can make Cumbria a safer place to live, work and visit and prevent crime.”
Superintendent Carl Patrick, of Cumbria Constabulary, said: “Rural crime is a key priority for Cumbria Constabulary 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 quad bike thefts and bring those responsible to justice.”
NFU Cumbria county chairman, Ian Bowness, said: “Rural crime remains one of the top issues raised with us by our members, whether that’s machinery or livestock theft, fly-tipping, wildlife crime, or dog attacks on sheep – the list goes on.
“The impact of rural crime has moved much higher up the agenda nationally and regionally, and I’m extremely proud of the partnership NFU, Cumbria Constabulary and Mr McCall have forged.
“Funding security marking kits and encouraging engagement between farmers and their PCSOs will go a long way to strengthening the productive relationship between farmers and police in the county as we continue to combat crime together.
“I’d urge any NFU members who haven’t done so already to request a kit.”
Farmers and rural business owners should contact their local PCSO for their free security marking kit or call 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org