Nelson's County Marine Covers and Norfolk Leathercraft
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Theft of Outboard Engines Rise - It Works

Between September 2008 and September 2009 there was only one incident where outboard engines were stolen from Wells Harbour. 6 outboard engines were reported stolen on the same date, early in the season, none had the engine covers fitted. It is significant that on the same occasion a further three engines, with covers fitted, were tampered with but once the covers were disturbed presumably the thieves were put off by the lack of the cowling.

The financial value of the engines stolen during this period was a total of just £6252, a significant reduction on previous years.

Following this crime spate there was a sudden demand for the covers and almost all vessels moored in Wells, where outboards were left onboard, were fitted with them. No further thefts of outboard engines in the area were reported during the period.

For cruisers who carry their tender outboards on pushpit rails whilst at sea the cover is additional protection from the elements and the effects of UV. Then, when in port, simply remove the cowling, lock it inside and replace the cover.


Why It Works

The criminological theory of rational choice perspective is that the offender offends in a rational way evaluating the level of effort and reward they will obtain from committing the offence and then comparing this reward with the relevant risks, including detection, associated with committing the crime.

Therefore in relation to the theft of outboard engines it was necessary to reduce the opportunities for the offender by somehow increasing the effort in committing the offence as well as in some way reducing the money that could be obtained from selling the stolen engine whilst also increasing the risk of detection.

The original project had the covers produced and these were then sold by the local Harbour Office and some local Police offices at subsidised prices. Unfortunately with the current funding issues around public services this facility is, unlikely to expand which is a pity as the need, success and demand are obvious.

This very simple design works!


Sizes And Applications

There are four sizes designed as a generic fit for all makes of outboard engines.

  • SMALL for engines up to 4 hp
  • MEDIUM for engines up to 9.9 hp
  • LARGE for engines up to 40 hp
  • EXTRA LARGE for engines up to 200 hp

Manufactured in white coloured high quality PE500 cotton reinforced PVC. White is used for a high visible deterrent. Covers can be individually personalised, for example your boat's or association's name can be added. Again such individualism adds to the deterrent value of the cover making it less attractive to the thief and increasing their risk of detection. Area, port or club motifs or burgees can also be added in the correct colours. You will need to supply a copy of the electronic artwork and the small additional cost will be well worthwhile.

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