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Lincolnshire third highest county for agricultural crime

Date: 23 October 2013

Lincolnshire on a mapAccording to new figures, £1.8 million*1 worth of insurance claims were made by Lincolnshire farmers, after having equipment, vehicles and livestock stolen or damaged. As the winter nights draw in, TRACKER, the stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) expert, warns Lincolnshire farmers to protect their machinery and outwit thieves operating under cover of darkness. With crime costing UK farmers around £42.3 million in 2012*2, TRACKER urges them to make it tougher for thieves.
Whilst research reports that rural crime has fallen over the past two years, thieves are now  targeting tractors and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs)*3. According to the latest figures, tractor thefts doubled from 120 to 221 during the six month period to March 2012, compared to March 2013. Lincolnshire hit the top three spot of most reported agricultural crime, surpassed only by Scotland and Northern Ireland, as the worst hit regions*2 .
With a shocking 95% of stolen farm vehicles never recovered, the financial consequences are significant, going well beyond short-term monetary losses but 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*4,” 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, especially in more northerly regions. This leaves farmers even more vulnerable to theft and significant financial loss, as well as the inconvenience of replacing equipment, not to mention the added stress and loss of working hours.”
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 stolen vehicle recovery products for agricultural machinery whether it is powered or not.  Furthermore, fitting tracking devices can reduce farmers’ insurance premiums by up to 25%. 
“Rural crime is taking place at significant levels, particularly in Lincolnshire, 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 defined boundaries, significantly increasing the chance of a swift recovery, in the event of a theft.

*1NFU Mutual This is Lincolnshire
*2NFU Mutual 2013 Rural Crime Survey NFU Rural Crime Initiatives
*3Source Farmers Guardian research August 2013
*4Source 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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