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Hare Coursers And Thieves Make Hay While The Sun Shines

Date: 27 July 2017

As the NFU launches its ‘Combating Rural Crime’ report and reaffirms its commitment to helping farmers safeguard their livelihood, stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) expert TRACKER is urging farmers and rural businesses to protect their assets, warning that the true cost of theft from farms is unknown and likely to be significantly higher than records show.
The new NFU Report puts the spot light on criminal activity taking place on farms and within rural communities – including theft of valuable farm machinery, such as tractors and all-terrain vehicles.   It also reveals that its members see a pattern of crimes associated with illegal hare coursing, stating that organised criminals frequently use the opportunity to scout for other opportunities on the farm with thefts occurring a few weeks later.
Andy Barrs, Head of Police Liaison at TRACKER, comments, “The NFU Report makes for an alarming read, with farmers and rural communities feeling extremely vulnerable.  Sadly, it also highlights a chronic under-reporting of rural crime by both farmers and the police, frequently down to the way in which the Home Office records crime – for example the theft of a tractor is classified as vehicle theft, with no recognition that the crime occurred in a rural community. Additionally, many farmers are reluctant to report crimes for a broad range of reasons, – meaning the true cost to farmers is likely to be much higher than official figures reflect.”
Farmers and rural businesses are a target for highly organised criminal gangs, who are able to ship stolen machinery and vehicles overseas, feeding a global black market in agricultural equipment. Thieves from urban areas travel lengthy distances to get to the countryside, intent solely on stealing quad bikes and smaller items of plant machinery, such as mini tractors and trailers that can be easily concealed and transported in light commercial vehicles.
Andy Barrs continues, “We urge farmers and rural businesses to protect their machinery now and help police close the net on thieves. Summer, and particularly late Summer when hare coursers take advantage of the harvested fields, is a peak time for crime. Investing in SVR technology won’t stop theft, but it will significantly increase the chances of police locating and returning stolen items before they can be sold on. As the largest and most established stolen vehicle tracking and recovery business in the UK, TRACKER continues to help vehicle and plant owners protect their assets, with over 1.2 million tracking devices currently deployed.
“TRACKER also works in partnership with NFU Mutual, to offer farmers significant reductions on NFU Mutual policies of up to 12%. This makes TRACKER the most robust and cost effective way to safeguard machinery in rural areas, while helping police clampdown on crime.”
Unlike other devices, TRACKER’s unique technology can locate stolen vehicles anywhere, even when they are hidden in a garage or shipping container. TRACKER has been reuniting car lovers with their vehicles for nearly 25 years, and it’s this expertise which makes TRACKER the leader in stolen vehicle recovery. TRACKER stolen vehicle recovery systems work like an electronic homing device. A covert transmitter is hidden in one of several dozen places around the vehicle. There is no visible aerial, so the thief won’t even know it’s there.

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