Police are urging sports clubs to review their security after two cricket grounds were targeted by thieves in the Tadcaster area.
Between 7pm on June 9 and 11.30am on June 10, offenders broke into a secure container at South Milford Cricket Club and stole a small tractor.
And on June 24, at about 8.50pm, two men were disturbed acting suspiciously at Burton Salmon Cricket Ground. They made off empty-handed.
North Yorkshire Police officers have since visited both venues and security-marked equipment there with the force’s ‘dot peen’ system.
The incidents have prompted a warning from officers to sports clubs and other organisations in rural areas to double-check their security, and to remain vigilant.
PCSO Caroline Saville, of North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce, said: “Over the past few weeks there has been an increase in burglaries at cricket club premises within the Selby district.
“We are advising clubs to check their security and ensure all valuable items are kept locked and secure. If any clubs would like a visit from the Rural Taskforce for crime prevention advice and property marking please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.”
North Yorkshire Police’s dot peen property marking scheme was the first – and is the biggest – of its kind in the country.
Dot peen marking involves using a tungsten carbide-tipped pin to indent an object with dots to create a visible, permanent unique number.
It can be used in farms, on garage and garden tools, power tools, computers and electrical devices, mobile phones and tablets, equestrian tack, golf clubs, musical instrument cases, cycles – and much more besides.
Inspector Jon Grainge, who leads the Rural Taskforce, said: “North Yorkshire is one of the safest places in the country, but it’s important we stay vigilant and do everything we can to keep people and businesses safe, particularly in rural areas.”
North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce works proactively alongside colleagues, partners and volunteers to increase engagement with rural communities, target criminals who offend in our rural areas, and provide bespoke crime prevention advice to those at risk of criminality.
Members of the public can help by acting as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the police, and reporting any suspicious people or activity. Please call North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 1, and speak to the Force Control Room. If an emergency response is required, always dial 999.
Insp Grainge added: “Local residents are the best people to recognise when something is not quite right – and if that’s the case, we’d like to hear about it. Please report anything suspicious to the police using the 101 phone number.
“Even if it doesn’t need an immediate response, every piece of information helps us build up a picture and could prove vital in bringing criminals to justice.”