Crime & Policing

Police issues warning after spate of East Yorkshire farm burglaries

Thieves have recently targeted farms across the East Riding stealing a number of large, valuable items of machinery.

Burglaries have been reported at farms in the Wolds Weighton area, in the villages near to Snaith and Airmyn, Kilnwick and Mid Holderness. Items that were stolen included vehicles, tools, scrap metal, a quad bike, pedal cycle and a trailer. On a number of occasions doors had been tampered with but nothing was stolen.

Neighbourhood Police Inspector Rob Cocker said, “We are continuing to investigate all of these incidents and have increased patrols in the areas concerned. The local Farmwatch members have been made aware of the incidents and are working with us to prevent further thefts.

“The financial impact and inconvenience caused to farmers, especially at this busy time of year, is huge.

“Many farms in the area have been visited by us to provide crime prevention advice and reassure them that we are there when they need us.

“It is suspected that these farms are being targeted by travelling criminals from both north and south of our area and I would appeal for anyone who has any information about these thefts to contact us so that we can identify those responsible and bring them to justice.

“I also would like to ask for the communities in towns and villages across the East Riding to be extra vigilant and to keep an eye out for anyone acting suspiciously. If you do see something call us immediately on 999 so that we can respond and catch them in the act.

“What is classed as ‘suspicious activity’? – If something looks wrong it probably is.”

“Anyone with information should call Humberside Police on the non-emergency number 101.”

Humberside Police have created a section on their website dedicated to helping our rural community to protect their property but a few key tips are here:

Reviewing your security and following the following advice may help in preventing you becoming a victim of crime. Pointing out to family, friends or neighbours any room for improvement in their security may also save them from becoming a victim of crime.

Look at it from the criminal’s point of view and ask yourself:

  • What’s visible and worth taking?
  • What’s the easiest way in and out?
  • Will I easily be seen or heard?
  • What would put me off?

Criminals look for easy opportunities. Don’t make it easy for them.

Boundary Security

Entrances & Exits:

  • Look closely at the perimeter of your land to ensure it is as secure as possible.
  • Install gates with appropriate locks.
  • Plant bushes and shrubs with thorns or sharp leaves which make access difficult for trespassers, such as near windows.
  • If possible remove all private access points that are no longer used and establish a single gated entrance and exit.
  • Consider installing an entry control system (infra-red, intercom of keypad entry).
  • Field gateways: Keep gates closed and locked. If not gated, when not in use, block with objects that are difficult to move to prevent or restrict access.

Gates & Hinges:

  • Invert and cap gate hinges so that gates cannot be lifted off. Ensure fixing bolts cannot be removed.
  • Use good quality padlocks with covers so they cannot be easily cut off.
  • Use locking posts or temporary obstructions to control large openings to yards.
  • Mark metal gates so as they are identifiable if stolen.

Keys & Locks:

  • Where practical vehicles should not be left in a visible place when not in use.
  • When vehicles or plant equipment are kept outside they should be locked and the keys secured in your possession or in a locked key safe.
  • Consider upgrading lock and ignition keys to the non-generic type in the case of farm machinery such as tractors and telehandlers.
  • Consider the use of hitch locks, wheel clamps our ground anchors. You may require a combination of the above to meet insurance requirements.
  • Blocking-in smaller vehicles such as quad bikes with larger machinery is also advisable.

All of these measures are proven to deter would-be thieves.

For more valuable crime prevention advice see our Rural Safety and Crime Prevention booklet here:

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