Nottinghamshire Police is providing “tamper-proof” stickers, which can be placed on the side of trailers. The stickers are designed to help highlight when a theft might be taking place as they say “Police – stop if seen moving between 10pm and 5am”.
“As legitimate users of the boxes typically only use the trailers to transport horses and livestock during the day, seeing them being moved at night can be deemed suspicious,” said a police spokesman.
Chief inspector Heather Maelor, the force’s rural crime lead, said Nottinghamshire Police has received several reports of this type of theft taking place as supply issues make trailers “very sought after”.
“This has been recognised as an issue across the region, so our officers have been making extra efforts to combat this theft trend and deter criminals. As part of this, we’ve introduced the stickers, which can then be placed on horseboxes and are difficult for offenders to take off quickly,” she said.
“We know that most of these offences take place overnight, at a time when these trailers aren’t typically in use, so they can offer a simple but effective way of alerting officers and the wider public that a crime is taking place.”
The spokesman added this was “just one of many” tactics Nottinghamshire Police is using to combat rural crime, with a “string of enforcement activity” that has resulted in the recovery of stolen trailers and subsequent criminal investigations. Officers have been visiting farms to hand out the stickers and offer security advice.
“We know that theft of trailers is a serious issue for members of the rural community that can impact livelihoods, so we have redoubled our efforts to do whatever we can to crackdown on this type of offending,” said Ms Maelor.
“As part of this, we have also relaunched the Nottinghamshire Police Horse Watch page on Facebook, where the public can get advice and support. It’s important that anyone who spots any suspicious activity, relating to horsebox thefts or other rural crime matters, reports it to the police straight away. We’d much rather come out and find that it’s nothing to worry about than not be there at the time.”
Nottinghamshire police and crime commissioner Caroline Henry said the force hopes to deter criminals from stealing horseboxes in the first place as part of efforts to tackle rural and wildlife crime.
“Part of our response is seeking to address the concerns that rural communities tell us about, which recently was concerns over a spate of horse box thefts,” she said.
“These stickers are a direct response to these concerns and demonstrate how we are continuing to listen and respond to residents’ concerns.”
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