Crackdown on thefts from rural properties
A horse tack marking event will take place in Warmington as police aim to stamp out a recent surge of thefts from rural properties.
It has been organised by Thames Valley Police at FN Piles and Sons, Fir Tree Farm, Warmington on Saturday, February 23 from 8.30am, after an increase in the number of riding equipment stolen in and around Banbury.
Police officers have recovered more than £30,000 worth of stolen items so far, and detective sergeant Steve Haddock of Banbury CID said: “ A lot of these items need to be identified and our searches found that 60 items were recognised as stolen.
“There are a number of people in the area that have had their riding equipment stolen, so this is why we have organised the day for them. There have been some examples of children who saved up their pocket money for riding equipment, some of which costs £200 per item.”
The spate of thefts from rural properties is believed to have started in November last year, with properties in North Newington, Bodicote, Hook Norton and Milcombe being affected.
Items stolen include 20 horse blankets worth about £2,000 and a 12ft galvanised gate.
Cherwell’s LPA commander, Superintendent Colin Paine, has now reiterated the police’s desire to tackle rural crime in the upcoming months.
He said: “Going into the new year, rural crime will be one of the main priorities going forward. This is a particularly disgusting crime that has absolutely no regard for people’s personal property.
“Many of these items have been stolen outside buildings, and I am absolutely determined we will do all we can to stamp out the thefts of horse tack and other sorts of rural crime.”
During the horse tack marking day, a volunteer from the Horsewatch Alliance – which brings together horse owners and riders in a bid to improve security and communication – will be marking equipment for free. This will include etching post codes on equipment which will make it easier for police to identify stolen equipment and give it back to the owners.
For anyone who owns quad bikes, trailers, horseboxes and tractors, a representative from CESAR/DATATAG will offer an electronic security identification system which provides lifetime protection with no monthly charges or fees. It will cost £87.20 per vehicle and includes a 20 per cent discount for people living in the Cherwell area. DS Haddock said: “Horse riding equipment is very personal to the owner and a saddle for example can cost a lot of money to buy.
“Having items such as this stolen becomes a personal attack on your life.
“Without the saddle you wouldn’t be able to ride your horse so it is very important people get their equipment marked to keep it safe.”
To book a time slot for the tack marking day, call Michelle Miller, community relations offficer at Banbury police station on 01295 754570.
Alternatively, for more information about the Horsewatch scheme, visit www.ukhorsewatch.org.uk/tackmarking
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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Temperature: 12 C to 19 C
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