Warning after rise in rural crime

Witnesses can call the police on 101
Witnesses can call the police on 101

Police have stepped up patrols in rural areas after a series of burglaries in recent weeks.

Saddlery, quad bikes and small plant machinery have been stolen from stables across the county.

Over the weekend, two quad bikes and a Landrover Defender were taken from a farm in Higham Ferrers, there were a number of attempted burglaries in the Daventry area and catalytic converters have been stolen from the Kislingbury area in the past week.

Police are asking people to act on the following crime prevention advice:

Get tack, saddles and accessories marked so they are identifiable and less attractive to thieves - contact your local Safer Community Team or HorseWatch to arrange to have this done.

Ensure valuable tack and saddlery is stored in a secure and locked location, and if it is valuable, consider taking it home to store.

When leaving your yard, double-check it is firmly locked.

If possible, install crime prevention products like CCTV and alarms – contact your local Safer Community Team for further advice.

Never reveal details of where you keep your horse and saddlery if approached by a stranger.

Use freeze-marking or hoof-branding to make horses and ponies identifiable. Legislation was introduced in July 2009 to make microchipping compulsory for all foals born after this date. Older horses do not have to be microchipped but this doesn’t prevent owners from doing so. Once the microchip is registered, the Police, RSPCA, council inspectors, vets or any other persons who may check for a microchip can consult the databases to find its owner.

For future reference, take photographs of your horses and expensive equipment. This will make it easier to make a positive identification if they are stolen.

Make sure you report any suspicious activity to police on 101. Always call 999 to report a crime in progress.

If you do witness any suspicious activity, make a note of vehicle registration numbers, makes and models and pass them to a police officer.