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The theft of heavy machinery is a considerable problem and is sometimes the result of organised crime.
These thefts are often from farms, woodland and domestic rural locations as well as building sites, and range from sit-on mowers and quad bikes up to very large plant and construction machinery.
If the theft has already happened, call the police as soon as possible, with as many details as you can. Call 999 if it’s happening now. If it’s already happened, report it to us online.
Stolen machinery is added to a national database monitored by specialist police officers.
There's a lot you can do to deter thieves, prevent your property being taken and to get it back safely if it is.
You can secure your property using:
Consider fitting machinery and vehicles with a tracking device and/or tagging system.
Items such as quad bikes, sit-on lawn mowers and rotavators are very desirable to thieves. Consider making them difficult to remove by:
Lock or immobilise vehicles and equipment when you’re not using them. Remove keys from cars, tractors and any other vehicles you leave unattended.
If you’re using a tracking company you must still contact police to create a crime report number.
The crime report number usually (but not always) has seven digits and today’s date. The tracking company will need this to call for police assistance.
You can put any kind of mark on your property to make it unique and so you always know which item is yours.
One option is to mark it with the number of your address followed by your postcode, eg 63 WR6 2BB.
Most organisations recognise post codes, so they can identify your property and return it to you. If you just mark it with a name or symbol it doesn’t tell the police who owns it or where it came from.
Remember to mark and record machine attachments such as drills, buckets and ploughs.
Make a property list of your valuable items, detailing the:
Take photographs of all your valuables and note any distinguishing marks, including where and how you’ve property marked it.
To secure the photos you can:
By having these records, if your property is stolen, you’ll have as much information as possible to give to the police and pass to retailers and other organisations to help find your property.
Call the police as soon as possible, with as many details as you can. Call 999 if it’s happening now. Report it online if it’s already happened.
Try to have these details ready about what’s been stolen:
You’ll also be asked:
Make sure you record your crime reference number; it’ll be needed by:
To speak to our crime prevention team about protecting plant and machinery, please email us.
Secured By Design (SBD) – police projects that focus on property security design
Datatag – the forensic marking system supported by the police
CESAR Scheme – official equipment and registration scheme for construction and agriculture
Crimestoppers – report crime anonymously
Action Fraud – fraud prevention advice and reporting