Quad bike theft ‘becoming the norm’ warns Gloucs farmer

A Gloucestershire farmer has said quad bike theft has become an “accepted part of rural life” after her machine was stolen from a barn connected to her house.

Jennie Staunton said she was frustrated with the police response after thieves stole a red Honda TRX500 from the farm near Cirencester on Sunday, 10 May.

The livestock farmer told Farmers Weekly she feared quad bike thefts had become so much “the norm” that it was now acceptable to not investigate them thoroughly.

“Time is of the essence, it could now be absolutely miles away. The [police] control room said they had a backlog of crimes and needed to process them before looking at others.

“It is not OK to just put it on a database and for people to have to find another £6,000 to replace a quad bike.

“I’m sure it is a resource problem, but the government need a push to provide more funds to fight crime.”

The farmer said she doubted she would ever see the bike again. It was parked – with the keys removed – metres away from her kitchen, in a barn with a connecting door to the house.

Feeling vulnerable

“It deliberately goes right next to the back door to deter thieves, as it is so close to where we eat and sit,” she added.

The single mother has been home schooling her three sons during the lockdown and said she now feels vulnerable in the house because of the raid.

“We can’t become a society which accepts theft over and over and over and doesn’t try to stop it, or label it an accepted by-product of coronavirus,” she added.

Farmers Weekly has contacted Gloucestershire Police for comment.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting incident number 117 of 11 May.

Quad bikes targeted

Rural insurer NFU Mutual has asked ATV and quad bike owners to review their security and identified the North and South West England as two areas among the most heavily targeted by thieves in recent months.

Bob Henderson, agricultural vehicle specialist at NFU Mutual, said ATVs and quad bikes are top of thieves’ shopping lists.

“Quads are highly portable and small enough to load into other vehicles and we, along with colleagues at the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service, have seen smaller pieces of kit being targeted in the past few weeks,” he said.

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