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TRACKER helps the fight against rural crime as the clocks change

Date: 23 October 2013

Police inspect stolen plant machineryWhilst recent research has revealed that rural crime is falling, with sheep thefts significantly down, new data has confirmed that thieves are now targeting high valued machinery, including  tractors and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs)*. As the winter nights draw in, TRACKER, the stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) expert, warns the agricultural community to protect their machinery and outwit thieves operating under cover of darkness.

Policing rural areas and protecting valuable farm machinery from theft remains a major challenge. According to the latest figures, tractor thefts doubled from 120 to 221 during the six month period to March 2012, compared to March 2013, with Scotland and Northern Ireland worst hit*. Rural thieves cost the farming sector £42.3 million in 2012**.
With a shocking 95% of stolen farm vehicles never to be found, the financial consequences are significant, going well beyond short-term monetary losses to seriously impacting the day-to-day operations of a farm, including potential loss of crop and even loss of customers.
“Currently, tractors with front end loaders worth in excess of £25,000 are the most commonly stolen piece of farm equipment***,” says Stuart Chapman police liaison officer for TRACKER. “Thieves are also increasingly targeting telescopic loaders, quads and utility vehicles. The clocks are going back at the end of the month, giving thieves more hours of darkness and leaving farmers even more vulnerable to theft, which spells significant financial loss, as well as the inconvenience of replacing equipment, plus the added stress.”
The overall fall in rural crime has been attributed to improved security features for agricultural vehicles. In fact TRACKER figures show that 58% of plant and agricultural machinery fitted with TRACKER devices are recovered in 24 hours. 
TRACKER has specially designed products for agricultural machinery whether it is powered or not, and fitting tracking devices can reduce farmers’ insurance premiums by up to 25%. 
“Rural crime is still taking place at significant levels, so farmers should not become complacent. With quad bikes, tools and machinery remaining at the top of the thieves' wish list investing in a tracking unit can save thousands of pounds in the long term, not to mention minimising disruption and lost earnings on a busy farm,” concludes Chapman. 
The TRACKER unit allows farmers to receive alerts when vehicles or machinery are moved beyond set boundaries, significantly increasing the chance of a swift recovery, in the event of a theft.

*Source Farmers Guardian http://www.farmersguardian.com/home/hot-topics/rural-crime/tractors-and-atvs-targeted-as-livestock-thefts-drop/57846.article
**NFU Mutual 2013 Rural Crime Survey  http://www.nfumutual.co.uk/farming/initiatives/rural-crime/
***Source Farmers Guardian http://www.farmersguardian.com/home/rural-life/shock-rise-in-tractor-thefts-as-rural-crime-spree-continues/54121.article

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