Boat joyriding vandalism on the increase
The RCR says that nowadays vandals don’t leave vessels intact
With an increasing number of vessels being torched or taken by joyriders, River Canal Rescue is calling for boat and marina owners to be extra vigilant.
The firm typically deals with one to two burnt-out or vandalised boats a year, but in a six-week period around September it was called out to three and in the last 12 months has salvaged ten.
“In the past boats were typically taken by people who wanted to steal outboards, batteries and anything that could be sold. They would however leave the vessel intact,” said Stephanie Horton, RCR managing director.
“But now the damage is usually so severe and too large a project to take on, the burnt-out vessels usually end up being disposed of.”
She pointed out that the joyriding crimes are particularly on the Oxford, Coventry and Grand Union canals in a triangle from Nottingham via Braunston to Oxford and Warwick
Examples include a 40ft widebeam which was set alight near Kegworth on the river Soar, causing it to sink.
A 35ft narrowboat moored at Fradley Junction (joining the Trent & Mersey and Coventry canals), suffered fire damage and a vessel on the Worcester & Birmingham canal was completely gutted.