October 23 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Horse owners have been told to bolster their security amid concerns that thieves are targeting rural Suffolk properties.
Police have even warned owners to change their routines and visit their horse at “irregular times” in case they are being monitored.
The advice follows a number of incidents in the east of Suffolk this week, including what is being treated as an attempted horse theft in Trimley St Mary.
A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said a Dartmoor pony, which had been secured overnight on Sunday at a farm in the village, had been moved to a different field by Monday morning.
There have also been reports of suspicious activity around rural establishments and fields, including calls regarding two white males who were seen in a white van with blue writing on the side around an equestrian property in Levington.
A spokeswoman for Horse Watch, a Suffolk Constabulary scheme to reduce rural and equine crime, said: “Farm and horse owners should take this opportunity to review the security of their stable yards and paddocks.
“Anyone who observes suspicious activity around horses should note down as much detail as possible and report it to the police on 101.
“Time, date, vehicle registration details and descriptions of any persons involved are helpful. Vehicle number plates may be cloned, so a full description of the vehicle involved should be taken.”
She added that along with changing routines, it is important that owners check perimeter fencing every day to make sure it has not been tampered with and consider installing metal gates that are securely cemented into the ground with welded or burred hinges.
The spokeswoman said: “Do not be tempted to lock your horse in a stable. If someone intends to steal your horse it makes it all that much easier, with the horse being in an enclosed area. It puts your horse at risk in the event of a medical or fire emergency.”
Police have also recommended “freeze marking” as a visible theft deterrent and also as a cheap but effective way of tracing a stolen horse.
Anyone with information can call police on 101 or dial 999 if a crime is in progress.