INSURER AND NAVCIS WARNS FARMERS OF GPS EQUIPMENT THEFTS
High value GPS equipment fitted to machinery is being stolen from farms and machine dealerships throughout the UK, with the North East particularly being targeted. This is becoming an increasing concern to insurers and police as the equipment is extremely difficult to recover.
GPS equipment plays a vital role in modern day farming, and thefts have had a debilitating effect on farmers during the harvest period. In response to the recent crimewave, CITS member NFU Mutual has recently advised equipment owners to ‘PIN it or PEN it’. This refers to setting the PIN code or overtly marking the GPS equipment’s domes and screens to help prevent it from being sold on.
The National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS) is echoing NFU Mutual’s advice by urging farmers to make the most of pin enabled security, if it is available on their GPS equipment. Alternatively they suggest farmers should use indelibly ink and write their postcode onto their equipment to deter criminal gangs stealing-to-order.
Anything that is identifiable, which can help trace the equipment back to its owner will immediately deter thieves.
Farmers buying second-hand GPS equipment are being urged not to inadvertently buy stolen equipment from what appears to be bona fide online sellers. Buyers are being advised to rigorously check where the GPS equipment has come from, if buying from outside a registered dealership, and to be suspicious of anything that has had its serial numbers removed. It is vitally important that anything seemingly suspicious should be reported to the police immediately. This will dramatically increase the likelihood of stolen equipment being recovered and subsequently returned to the rightful owner.
As the main insurer of the UK’s farmers, NFU Mutual is working with police and tractor manufacturers to tackle this worrying new crime trend.
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