Aberdeenshire quad bike owners to take precautions
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A RURAL insurer has warned farmers to keep quad bikes secure following Aberdeenshire thefts.
Rising demand and supply shortages are the reason why more quads are being stolen, according to Police Scotland.
Constable Lynn Black from the National Rural and Acquisitive Crime Unit said: “The supply shortages mean the criminals are cashing in on this ready-made illicit market and we are also urging people to thoroughly check what they are buying and not to fuel theft against a fellow farmer.
“We have had some successful recoveries of quads recently due to having a tracker fitted which is always something Police Scotland would recommend.
"After removal of keys, trackers and immobilisers are the most effective measures against quad theft acting as both a deterrent and also increasing the chance of police recovering the vehicle and catching the people behind these crimes.
“We are working with police forces across the border including Northumbria, County Durham and Cumbria to share intelligence and disrupt criminal gangs who travel to Scotland to commit crime.
To help take on quad thieves, NFU Mutual are encouraging owners to remove keys from their vehicles, to keep quads secure and out of sight, and to install trackers.
Bob Henderson, from the Agricultural Engineering Team at NFU Mutual, said: “The thieves behind this latest surge in quad theft are slicker, more determined and more prolific than before.
"We cannot emphasise enough the importance of removing keys from machines and securing your quad when it’s not in use.
“Quads are absolutely vital to livestock farmers particularly as we get into peak lambing season, and the thefts we are seeing are hitting farmers twice as hard because of the difficulties getting replacement kit.
“Sadly, we have found that thieves will also return to a farm where they have stolen a quad in the hope of being able to steal its new replacement.
"That’s why we’re working on the scheme with manufacturers Honda and Yamaha with Datatool to install free tracking devices and immobilisers to protect our customers from repeat crime.
“We also want to help keep farmers - who often work alone - safe.
"The immobiliser systems have smart technology which can raise the alarm if a machine has been impacted or rolled over.”
Constable Black said: "We are urging anyone who has any information about quad theft to report it to 101 or share information anonymously with Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
More advice on farm vehicle security and crime trends is available in NFU Mutual’s 2021 Rural Crime Report: https://www.nfumutual.co.uk/farming/ruralcrime/