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Third Farmers Spend 15 Less Preventing Theft

Monday, 14 March 2011

One in three farmers rely on a simple padlock or less to protect hundreds of thousands of pounds of equipment, a survey has revealed.

Rural crime costs the UK at least £42 million a year, yet a survey for security specialist, Agri-Track, found that one in six farmers' only security equipment is a padlock and chain, while a similar number have nothing at all.

Nearly half of farmers had never heard of more sophisticated anti-theft technology such as GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking devices.

David Donnachie, director of Agri-Track which commissioned the research, said: "Despite all the high-profile stunts and campaigns, the message about how prevalent rural crime has become is not getting through.

"Just 13 per cent of farmers who took part in our survey use datatrack or CESAR, and almost half (47 per cent) admitted they hadn't heard of using GPS to protect and track their equipment.

"With so many farmers happy to rely on little more than good luck to protect their most valuable assets, it's no wonder this type of organised crime is soaring."

According to a report by NFU Mutual last year, rural crime is estimated to cost the UK at least £42 million a year, with thefts of tractors and other expensive equipment in particular having soared over the past two years*.

A number of police forces have unveiled initiatives to tackle the problem - ranging from Farm Watch schemes to liveried tractors - but efforts to encourage farmers to take steps to protect their own property appear to be falling on deaf ears.

Mr Donnachie added: "Rural crime has soared during the recession as organised criminals realise they can steal to order and usually make off with hundreds of thousands of pounds of equipment with little risk of being caught.

"If farms aren't taking steps to prevent theft, it gives police little hope of retrieving stolen property or identifying equipment once it is stolen.

"We believe that GPS tracking solutions such as our own Sentry device offer the best protection because it not only alerts police the minute there is a theft, it can quickly lead them directly to where the goods have been taken."

Agri-Track specialises in GPS tracking devices and software for protecting agricultural equipment against theft.

For more information, visit http://www.agri-track.co.uk/ or call 0845 467 7128.




* Estimate of the cost of rural crime to UK economy during 2009, NFU Mutual, July 2010


For more information, or to arrange an interview with either David Donnachie or Andrew Hardman, contact Chris Marritt or Emma Radcliffe at Beattie Communications