Norfolk Constabulary’s Broads Beat team are reminding boat owners to double check the security of their boats in preparation for the winter months.

Historically, opportunist thieves have targeted boats that have been left unattended for long periods of time, insecure and where items have been left on display.

Broads Beat officers are urging boat owners to remove these opportunities to help reduce the chances of falling victim to maritime crime.

Recently, a 6HP 2 Stroke Mercury outboard engine with the serial number OP409177 was stolen from a boat moored at the Buckingham Sailing Club on Ferry Road in Carleton St Peter sometime between Tuesday 15 September and Friday 18 September. Enquiries are ongoing.

PC Paul Bassham said: “Boat owners and hirers spend a lot of money buying and maintaining their boats, so the last thing you want is to be a victim of theft. If you haven’t already, make sure you have a detailed list of your boating equipment including serial numbers, which is first line of defence against thieves, which proves invaluable if your property is stolen.

“Officers have recently recovered an outboard engine that was stolen off a boat moored on the River Thurne at Potter Heigham in 2016. This was initially found by marine police doing spot checks on boats in Lithuania. Officers managed to identify the engine due to the serial number, again reinforcing the importance of them.”

Broads Beat officers are also strongly recommending that boat owners mark valuable items of property with your postcode, making them less attractive to a thief and again easier to identify if stolen.

PC Bassham added: “The other benefit to recording serial numbers and marking your items is the improved chances we have of prosecuting offenders.”

Broads Beat officers are based at Hoveton and promote the use of Boatshield which is a crime prevention initiative providing a useful booklet with advice and a place to record serial, model, Hin & Vin numbers of Boats, outboards, chart plotters and trailers.

They also send out periodic alerts on Marine Crime and Intelligence by email. People who wish to receive these – need to contact the Broads Beat team via Broadsbeat@norfolk.pnn.police.uk

If anyone has any information about the stolen outboard engine then please contact PC Paul Bassham on 101 quoting reference number 36/66439/20.

For more information visit the Broads Beat section at www.norfolk.police.uk./broadsbeat and please follow on Twitter @Broadsbeat