Rural crime figures reveal quad bike thefts rising by 80%

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TRACKER, the UK’s stolen vehicle recovery (SVR) provider, reveals that quad bike thefts are increasing by as much as 80% in some areas, with Honda a top brand for thieves.

Tractor thefts are also on the increase in certain parts of England and Wales, which means farmers and rural businesses need to be extra vigilant when protecting their assets.

“When it comes to more valuable pieces of farm machinery, such as tractors and tele-handlers, there is a global market ready and waiting. Thefts of JCB and Manitou tele-handlers are also on the increase, with the Far East and Africa representing huge markets for criminals to sell on stolen machinery.”

Andy Barrs, Head of Police Liaison for TRACKER

According to the latest figures, quad thefts are a particular concern in England and Wales, with the Midlands worst affected. Whilst the theft of new machinery has declined due to secure marking schemes such as CESAR - the equipment and registration scheme to the construction and agricultural industry - the theft of older vehicles and equipment has increased.

This is particularly true for more valuable assets such as tractors, with East Anglia, the Midlands and the South East witnessing a 15% increase in tractor thefts.

Andy Barrs, Head of Police Liaison for TRACKER and a former Chief Superintendent for South Yorkshire Police comments: “When it comes to more valuable pieces of farm machinery, such as tractors and tele-handlers, there is a global market ready and waiting. Thefts of JCB and Manitou tele-handlers are also on the increase, with the Far East and Africa representing huge markets for criminals to sell on stolen machinery.

“In the South of England, particularly around the ports of Tilbury, Felixstowe and Southampton we see a lot of high value stolen farm equipment ending up in sealed containers, only to be shipped abroad to a plethora of global destinations. Fortunately, TRACKER has provided its detection equipment to ports police across the UK, including those covered by Police Scotland, so we regularly see assets fitted with our products recovered in ports.”

Figures show that John Deere was the most popular stolen manufacturer brand, although many of these thefts were attributed to smaller items of machinery, such as ride on mowers. These items are easy to steal, as they can be concealed in light goods vans, highlighting the need for security on all levels of rural assets.

“As the largest and most established stolen vehicle tracking/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,” concludes Andy Barrs.

“In addition, TRACKER is the only company that installs its police detection computers in every UK police force, including Northern Ireland. We are also working in partnership with NFU Mutual and Datatag, to offer farmers significant reductions on NFU Mutual policies of up to 25%. This makes TRACKER the most robust and cost effective way to protect 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 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.