Devon and Cornwall Police have deployed the area’s first ATV policing vehicle in the Bodmin Moor area with the aim of protecting its community and livestock.
Managed by the Bodmin Moor rural crime initiative, police officers and volunteers will be using the vehicle to patrol Cornwall’s countryside area spanning over 80 miles.
The 4WD Kubota ATV is now marked with police livery, with emergency lighting and a siren installed. It will also be equipped with binoculars and a thermal imager.
Devon and Cornwall Police is hosting a community drop-in event on Bodmin Moor at the shop in Blisland tomorrow (Thursday, February 16) where members of the public can view the vehicle and learn about rural crime policing in the area.
Police and crime commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Alison Hernandez said the vehicle would enhance policing in the area and help in the fight against rural crime which is “a concern for many across our force area”.
“By their very nature, remote areas such as Bodmin Moor can be challenging to police, and so I am pleased to help fund this all-terrain vehicle which will prove a vital tool in keeping rural communities safe from criminal activity.”
Hernandez said the vehicle would also help in the safeguarding livestock and wildlife, and help ensure the land is protected for the “lawful use and enjoyment of everyone”.
“Not only is this ATV an innovative resource for rural crime prevention, but technology including thermal imaging and the ability to navigate challenging terrain in harsh conditions will also prove invaluable in the search for people missing on the moor, and could make all the difference in saving someone’s life,” she said.
Devon and Cornwall Police’s rural affairs officer, PC Chris Collins, said the number of criminal incidents on Bodmin Moor have been increasing during the past few years, which “included unlawful encampments, antisocial behaviour and unlicensed music events”.
“In response, we looked for ways to enhance our community policing of the area, we often overlook the fact that Bodmin Moor is mostly privately owned and managed, with many areas of common grazing land used for farming and livestock,” he said.
“It is covered with designations such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest and access land and can be vulnerable to interference from unauthorised activity.”
Collins said the force was inspired by conversations at the Royal Cornwall Show in June of 2022, and settled on Kubota RTV for its “durability and its ability to access the most challenging parts of the countryside in all weather conditions”.
“This ATV will enable us to see and be seen by communities in villages and hamlets across the moor to support our communities no matter the weather or state of terrain,” he said.
“We can remind people of the need to respect the countryside, livestock and communities in challenging situations where off-road access may be the answer to life or death for an animal or person exploring the moor.”