Derbyshire Constabulary’s rural crime team has seized and recovered a number of high-value agricultural machinery items during the last week, including a pump worth in the region of £40,000 and a trailer in the region of £4,000.

Both items, it said, were stolen from Nottinghamshire.

An all-terrain verhicle (ATV), which the Derbyshire team described as “a bit worse for wear” was also found, and was still “in good working order and will be fit to work again”. The ATV was found in the Palterton area.

A quad bike that was recovered from the Draycott area is still being investigated, and the rural crime team said its prompt recovery of the machine will hopefully help it reunite it with its owner.

“Further police enquiries are continuing in relation to these items and we wish to thank the members of the public who have already assisted us,” Derbyshire Constabulary’s rural crime team said.

“As always, if anyone has any further information regarding these or other criminal matters, we are always interested in speaking with you.”

Rural thefts

The thefts and recoveries of these stolen items come in the wake of new figures on rural thefts from NFU Mutual, which show a 26% annual increase in the cost of quad thefts, bringing the total value to £2.8 million in 2022.

As a result, the National Farmers’ Union’s (NFU) rural insurer is urging farmers to up security as a result to avoid becoming victims of quad, and other machinery, thefts.

NFU Mutual said it is working with quad manufacturers to provide customers with free tracking and immobilisation equipment on vehicles bought to replace stolen quads and ATVs, following a paid claim.

“Today’s criminals will spend time watching farms to see where quads are kept and then come back with tools to break in and steal them,” Henderson said.

“To reduce the risk of becoming a victim of quad theft it’s vital to always remove keys when not on the machine and always secure your quad when it’s not in use.

“Thieves often will return to a farm where they have stolen a quad in the hope of being able to steal its replacement. To beat repeat quad thefts, we’re working with manufacturers to provide our customers who have had a quad stolen with free tracking devices and immobilisers.”

Chris Piggott of the National Construction and Agri Thefts Team (NCATT) said tracking, immobilisation and security marking are the most effective measures against quad theft, as they deter thieves and make it easier for police to catch gangs.

“To avoid buying a stolen piece of kit and fuelling the criminal trade, we’re urging farmers to obtain serial numbers for the quad and check these with companies such as HPI who can fully provenance them,” he said.

“Also speak to your local dealership to see if they have any records of the quad or ask for copies of original invoices from the seller.

“Do not meet people in lay-bys or service stations, go to their house and conduct your business inside to ensure they are a resident there.”

NFU Mutual urged anyone with information about quad theft to report it or share information anonymously with Crimestoppers.