A 48-year-old man has been charged with the theft of a caravan from a home in Birchover.
Michael Carey was arrested by officers on patrol in the Derbyshire Dales during the early hours of Saturday, August 31, after they stopped a suspicious vehicle travelling along the B5056 between Grangemill and Longcliffe.
Mr Carey, of Meadow View, Litherland, in Liverpool, was questioned and later charged with theft, using a vehicle without insurance and handling stolen goods.
He was due to appear before magistrates at Chesterfield Justice Centre on Monday, September 16.
Derbyshire Police say caravan theft is on the rise nationally, and in 2018 there were 36 thefts of caravans in Derbyshire.
To help people protect their caravans from thefts Police Support Volunteers attached to the Rural Crime Team have been visiting caravan storage sites to offer crime prevention advice.
Caravan storage sites are encouraged to have secure perimeters, CCTV and have 24 hour security.
There are measures caravan owners can take too, which include:
· GPS Tracking: If possible fit a tracking device to your caravan- and not just in places where they are usually installed.
· Whether you’re locking away your caravan for the winter or just for the day, park it in a secure location or shed, behind lock and key. When you’re out on the road do your best to park where you can keep an eye on it or put it in a busy location out in the open.
· Fit a coupling lock/security cover over the top of your coupling. When attached to your vehicle, it ensures the coupling cannot be released from the tow ball, and when uncoupled, the lock will prevent it from being coupled to a vehicle.
· A universal coupling lock can work with a variety of different couplings up to a certain size for when your caravan is uncoupled.
· A wheel lock or clamp can be a deterrent, as can a pad lock and chain around your caravan’s drawbar – or in the case of a tandem axle caravan, chaining the two wheels together.
· Always lock your caravan when it’s unattended, even if it’s for a minute. This is especially true at busy caravan parks or storage sites.
· Secure the wheels of your caravan with lockable wheel nuts.
· While your caravan is not being used, please remove any tools, high value or sentimental items from inside.
· Make sure you read and understand the terms and conditions of any insurance policies so that your belongings are appropriately covered.
Sgt. James Shirley, of the Derbyshire Rural Crime Team, said: “We are working with officers from other police forces to help target thefts of caravans and offering advice on how to keep them secure. We hope this will offer reassurance to caravanning and rural communities that we are doing all we can to target and reduce these types of offences.”
If you would like to find out more about the work of the Derbyshire Rural Crime team, like their Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ruralcrimeteam or follow them on Twitter, @DerbyshireRCT.