24 May 1996

Fighting back against theft of machinery

MACHINERY theft in the construction industry is rife and the agricultural industry would do well to note the action currently being taken to curb it.

Equipment to the value of £500m is taken each year – a daunting figure when it is known that SEDs machinery-packed 32ha (80-acre) site held only an estimated £200m worth. Some machines are stolen to order while others are dismantled and sold as spares.

The scale of the problem has created its own lucrative business opportunities, with the event liberally supported by companies offering security devices ranging from machinery tagging to satellite tracking. One of the front-runners in the war on theft is the National Plant Register, which, by charging owners to record their machinery, claims to have assisted in the recovery of stolen plant equipment to the tune of £14m in the past three years. &#42