Police issue warning after boat thefts reported in Alnwick, Berwick, Beadnell, Boulmer and Seaton Sluice

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Police have called on residents to be vigilant following an increase in boat thefts in Northumberland.

Boat engines have been reported stolen from Alnwick, Beadnell, Berwick, Boulmer and Seaton Sluice in recent months.

Police say opportunist thieves often target vessels which may have been moored in unsecured locations such as open harbours or along riverbanks.

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Detective Inspector Jon May, of Northumbria Police, said: “Members of the public should make sure that, where they can, boats are left in secure moorings, ideally equipped with CCTV.

Boats at Seahouses harbour. Picture: Northumbria PoliceBoats at Seahouses harbour. Picture: Northumbria Police
Boats at Seahouses harbour. Picture: Northumbria Police

“We have seen a rise in reports amongst very small rural communities – but I want those communities to know we are aware of this trend and are here to help.

“Boats, boat motors, and fishing equipment are not only valuable, but an integral part of the infrastructure amongst rural Northumberland so it’s extremely important we work together to ensure people’s livelihoods are protected.

“Most of the time, crimes such as these take place under the cover of night, with offenders mostly using vans to transport their haul – so these are the signs I’d like people to be looking out for, as well as anything which doesn’t look or feel right.”

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He added: “We will be conducting increased patrols around the affected areas and those we believe may be targeted, as well as engaging with local residents and fishing communities to offer preventative advice.

“We’re really reliant on public to be our eyes and ears – especially in small towns and villages – and would urge anyone who sees anything suspicious, particularly people showing interest in or tampering with boats and areas of moorings, to contact police.”