There was a rise in the number of ATVs and UTVs stolen from Dorset farms last winter.

The thefts rose in October, November and December 2019, with the total number of the terrain vehicles stolen during the year reported as 38 across the county.

All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) and Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTVs) have proved popular during the last 10 years on farms and smallholdings due to their multipurpose uses - but this has also seen them become a target for thieves.

As a result, Dorset Police have issued security advice to farmers.

They say that the ideal security solution is to secure your ATV with different layers of security, and recommend:

• Keep your vehicle in a lockable garage or building and make sure you remove the keys and keep them in a secure location and out of view, not hidden on the vehicle and out of view of any windows.

• Use a grip lock that locks the brakes on the machine to prevent it being moved without removal.

• Physically secure your machine using suitable locking devices and fixed ground anchors secured to the floor using heavy duty security chains and padlocks.

• Consider fitting isolating systems to machines that will prevent theft such as fuel and battery isolators.

• Cover any windows to the building where your vehicle is kept this will prevent any persons looking through the windows.

• Consider installing security lighting and CCTV with sensors and PIR Alarms on the perimeter of the building or premises.

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• Get your machine marked with security marking scheme such as Datatag or CESAR. Most dealers will offer this when you purchase a new quad as an extra if it’s not already fitted at the factory as standard, if they don’t please ask for the bike to be fitted with it. If you purchase a second-hand vehicle that isn’t fitted with it please ask the dealer to fit it.

• Consider fitting immobilisers, VHF and GPS Tracking devices.

• Why not contact your local ATV dealer and ask them what they can do for you to prevent your vehicle from being stolen?

• Certain insurance companies will often offer a discount to premiums with these types of measures. Machines fitted and registered with CESAR security marking system are 4 times less likely to be stolen and are 6 times more likely to be recovered if they are stolen. Since CESAR was brought in in 2007 it has contributed to a 60% decline in thefts. Recently during a Rural Crime Team recovery of a Polaris UTV the only way to have verified that the vehicle was stolen was by this system.

• Record machinery serial numbers and take photographs for reference. If the machine is ever stolen a photo will increase publicity prospects and recovery of the machine.

• Report suspicious vehicles or callers to Police by calling 999 if the vehicle or occupants are seen committing crime or phone 101 or email if the vehicle or people are just seen acting suspiciously.

To find out more information of what’s available or to arrange a socially distanced, bespoke crime prevention visit to your farm or rural premises by an experienced member of the Rural Crime Team, email the team directly at