The following information is being sent on behalf of Police Scotland

Quad Bikes and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) are a major target for thieves and highly organised criminals in the UK. These types of vehicles are easy to steal as thieves can jump on and drive off when you are working on a farm or target them from workshops and barns.

Remote locations such as farms can offer rich pickings due to their rural location and isolation from other neighbours.

Follow the guidance below to build up the layers of security on your farm:

Restrict Access – Consider the access to farmyards and buildings – if gates or entrances are no longer used, then seal them off. Restrict access routes to the premises where possible – if not, ensure they have good natural surveillance from any farmhouses i.e. where you have a good view from an occupied room.

Keep Out of Sight – Try to keep the vehicles out of sight from nearby roads, as thieves will often survey properties looking for vehicles

Close Gates – Keep gates to yards closed, as open gates can be an open invitation to thieves. Lock barns or outbuildings doors at night using a heavy-duty Secured by Design (SBD) approved hasp and staple with security padlock.

Use Clamps & Locks – When leaving vehicles overnight, consider a bespoke Quad/ATV drive on security device which clamps around the wheel and is secured to a concrete floor. Other solutions include using a combination of SBD security approved locks and chains with ground anchors or wheel locks with a high attack rating.

Fit Immobilisation and Tracking Systems – The use of tracking systems can notify the owner the vehicle is being interfered with or moved, allowing for a prompt response to either prevent the theft or detain offenders. SBD have several members who specialise in this area and can advise on the best system and fitting of the product for your vehicle. Remember these vehicles are often exported overseas by gangs so being able to track its location is vital.

Lighting – Lighting is a good deterrent on a farm, especially in the long winter nights and around the barns where your quad/ATV are stored. Consider outside security lights controlled by an automatic time-switch or infra-red beams that react to heat or movement.

Fogging Devices – These systems fill a protected area with an impenetrable cloud of fog which reduces visibility and can fill the barn or outbuildings within seconds of a detection; it is difficult to steal what you cannot see.

Take Notes – Keep a record of serial numbers, chassis and model numbers and take note of any custom marks on the vehicle. Take colour photographs from several angles and additionally take videos with a smartphone if possible.

Mark your Property – Security marking your quad/ATV using an SBD recognised forensic asset marking or etching kit is a highly effective deterrent to thieves and an established method of reducing theft. Remember to use the visible warning labels to show that the property is marked. Trying to remove one of these forensic markers is very difficult and in many cases the police only need a trace amount to establish ownership and gain a conviction. The CESAR System is the National security marking system of the Construction Equipment Association and Agricultural Engineers Association with the aim of reducing plant and farm theft.

Remove Keys – Never leave your keys in the ignition, even if you only briefly leave your quad/ATV unattended, and don’t be an easy target for opportunity theft.

Should you wish to receive further advice on scams or other crime prevention advice please contact us by calling 101 (ask for Tayside Partnerships Interventions and Preventions) or by email at