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Quad bike owners in rural Dorset urged to take security measures

07 December 2020
Owners of quad bikes in rural Dorset are being urged not to offer up an easy gift to thieves this Christmas and ensure their vehicles are protected.

Dorset Police’s Rural Crime Team is issuing advice to owners of All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTVs) following a spike in offences this time last year.

Police Community Support Officer Tom Balchin, of the Rural Crime Team, said: “These vehicles have proved popular during the last ten years on farms and smallholdings alike due to their multipurpose uses, but this has also seen them become a popular target for thieves.

“Sadly during December 2019 we saw an increase of ATV and UTV thefts across the county. During 2019 we had 38 ATVs or UTVs stolen from rural premises across Dorset.

“We are asking our rural communities – what is your security arrangement like for your ATV or UTV? Is it secure enough to stop thieves taking it? Could you live without it if were to be stolen? Could you carry out your work without one?

“We have put together a list of security measures to help people keep their ATVs and UTVs secure. The ideal solution to protect your ATV is with different layers of security.”

The Rural Crime Team has provided the following advice:

• Keep your vehicle in a lockable garage or building and make sure you remove the keys and keep them in a secure location and out of view, not hidden on the vehicle. Keep them out of view of any windows.
• Use a grip lock that locks the brakes on the machine to prevent it being moved without removal.
• Physically secure your machine using suitable locking devices and fixed ground anchors secured to the floor using heavy duty security chains and padlocks.
• Consider fitting isolating systems to machines that will prevent thefts such as fuel and battery isolators.
• Cover any windows to the building where your vehicle is kept.
• Consider installing security lighting and CCTV with sensors and PIR (Passive infrared) alarms on the perimeter of the building or premises.
• Get your machine marked with a security marking scheme such as Datatag or CESAR. Most dealers will offer this when you purchase a new quad as an extra if it’s not already fitted at the factory as standard. If they don’t please ask for the bike to be fitted with it. If you purchase a second-hand vehicle that isn’t fitted with it, please ask the dealer to fit it.
• Consider fitting immobilisers, VHF and GPS tracking devices.
• Why not contact your local ATV dealer and ask them what they can do for you to prevent your vehicle from being stolen?
• Certain insurance companies will often offer a discount to premiums with these types of measures. Machines fitted and registered with CESAR security marking system are four times less likely to be stolen and are six times more likely to be recovered if they are stolen. Since CESAR was brought in in 2007 it has contributed to a 60 per cent decline in thefts. Recently during a Rural Crime Team recovery of a Polaris UTV the only way to have verified that the vehicle was stolen was by this system.
• Record machinery serial numbers and take photographs for reference. If the machine is ever stolen a photo will increase publicity prospects and recovery of the machine.
• Report suspicious vehicles or callers to police by dialling 999 if the vehicle or occupants are seen committing crime. Call 101 or email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk if the vehicle or people are just seen acting suspiciously.

To find out more information of what’s available, or to arrange a socially distanced bespoke crime prevention visit to your farm or rural premises by an experienced member of the Rural Crime Team, please email the team directly at ruralcrimeteam@dorset.pnn.police.uk or call 101 and ask to speak to PCSO 6386 Tom Balchin.

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