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Officers continue operation to tackle quad bike theft

Officers across the county are continuing their operation to tackle quad bike thefts within Cumbria as rural crime continues to be a force priority. Operation Lantern which is running across the county was launched in response to a number of quad bike and machinery thefts from rural areas across Cumbia. The operation has seen dedicated patrols in areas that have been targeted, alongside officers from specialist department.

Officers have responded to in excess of 100+ reports of suspicious incidents from the public and recovered eight stolen quadbikes with assistance from the local community.

Officers have also made 11 arrests linked to Op lantern with a number of investigations ongoing.

Superintendent Sarah Jackson said: “It’s important our rural communities are vigilant and take steps to protect their property.

“There are many simple security measures that residents can take in order to reduce the risk to their property. Such as ensuring outbuildings are locked and that tools and machinery are kept out of sight when not in use as tools could be used to gain access to surrounding buildings. Simply removing keys from machinery and bikes and blocking them in using other large pieces of equipment can make it very difficult for thieves and ultimately act as a deterrent.

“Installing tracking devices to property is also a great security measure, these can help significantly within an investigation to locate the property, as well as markings or data tags so we can identify who the items belong to if found.

“We would like to remind people to remain vigilant to the threat of thefts and burglaries and report and suspicious persons or activity to police on 101 or if a crime is occurring on 999.”

Other advice from the officers is not to leave keys or valuables in farm vehicles and machinery, to always keep gates padlocked shut, use weatherproof padlocks, make sure all tools and valuables are security marked and to place warning signs around properties to deter potential thieves.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “Cumbria is a mostly rural county which means a lot of our properties are isolated and a key target for criminals and organised crime gangs.

“We need the public to report anything suspicious and out of place that they see so that we can build intelligence.

“However we also want to encourage the public to further protect themselves from being victimised – I would recommend to all rural communities and businesses to put trackers or smartwater on their devices and make sure their vehicles are locked away and the keys are in a safe and secure location.

“We also work with Crimestoppers which is 100% anonymous for those who do not want to report to the police – if you wish to report to Crimestoppers call 0800 555 111.”

We also need the rural community to be our eyes and ears. If you see anything suspicious please report it via 101 or 101@cumbria.police.uk.

A specialist rural crime reporting line is also available to those who want to report suspicious activity anonymously 0800 783 0137.

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