Cost of Farm Theft Doubles from Last Year
The cost of farm theft insurance claims has doubled from last year, according to provider NFU Mutual. Quoting data from March 2017, the company revealed that claims amounted to more than £800,000 in that month alone, a significant increase on last year’s figures.
NFU Mutual pinpointed tractors, quad bikes and other all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) as the main target for opportunistic thieves and urged farmers to take greater care when locking up their equipment.
Tractors top of the pile
According to NFU Mutual’s rural affairs specialist Tim Price, a small number of high-value tractor thefts account for almost a quarter (£200,000) of the total claims amount. Meanwhile, quad bikes and ATVs are also very popular among agricultural bandits, who are becoming more and more sophisticated as technology advances.
“Thieves are continually finding new ways of getting round security devices and are also staking out farms to find opportunities when quads can be stolen with little chance of them being spotted and challenged,” explained Price. “With many livestock farmers working at full stretch looking after young stock and making silage, thieves are likely to be touring the countryside looking for opportunities to steal – so it’s important to secure quads whenever they are not in use.”
Price has called on farmers and residents to be vigilant for trespassers, suspicious vehicles and strangers claiming to be interested in buying scrap metal. Reporting vehicle number plates and giving suspect descriptions can help police to build up a database on the criminals and clamp down on their operations.
Anti-theft investment pays off
Despite the recent spike in insurance claims, NFU Mutual says tractor theft is still nowhere near its peak. In 2010, claims totalling £10 million were made to the company – this year, they’re less than a third of that amount.
This overall decrease in farm theft has come as a result of concerted investment from the insurer, who have poured £600,000 into specialist police units and regularly offer discounts to farmers who install security devices on their vehicles. Furthermore, most modern models of tractors come equipped with tracking software as standard, allowing the location of stolen vehicles to be monitored remotely.
Even though technology continues to make things more difficult for thieves and miscreants, NFU Mutual are still urging farmers to take basic precautions when it comes to securing their property.
Back to basics
In addition to installing the latest security devices and utilising CESAR immobilisers, NFU Mutual also encourage farmers to follow a few simple practices when looking after their machinery and vehicles:
- Record serial numbers from all farmyard equipment
- Etch the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) onto the windows of all vehicles
- Close and lock gates and doors to all parts of the farm where possible
- Secure vehicles with heavy-duty padlocks and chains when not in use
- Never leave keys in the ignition of farm vehicles
- Lock everything out of sight overnight
- Install security floodlights in areas where tools, machinery and vehicles are stored
Peace of mind with Blackburn Alarms
Of course, it’s not just farms which are prone to burglary. All properties, whether they be domestic or commercial, can fall prey to thievery and though one swallow might not make a summer, one successful robbery is all it takes to ruin one.
At Blackburn Alarms, we have a whole host of intruder alerts, CCTV security cameras and access control systems to increase safety and give you peace of mind. To find out more about how we can help secure your home or workplace, get in touch with us today.