PANIU aims to oust plant theft

10 November 2016

Increased security measures and the enhancement in technology is helping rental companies to recover stolen machinery, but more work needs to be done, the CPA (Construction Plant-hire Association) Conference 2016 heard.

Detective Constable (DC) Julian Crabb, liaison manager, Plant and Agricultural National Intelligence Unit (PANIU), Metropolitan Police, said simple measures could be taken to ensure rental companies had the best possible chance of recovering its machines.

DC Crabb said that Construction & Agricultural Equipment Security and Registration (CESAR) – an equipment registration and security scheme using Datatag hi-tech security markings – provided a much better chance of recovering stolen machines, while CESAR claims that machines are six times more likely to be recovered if stolen and four times less likely to be stolen in the first place.

DC Crabb also urged rental companies to report crimes immediately, stating the make, model and description, as well as the serial number and engine number if available. Other information required includes the fleet number, CESAR number (if applicable) and the circumstances of theft.

Meanwhile, Peter Thompson, managing director of UK-based Custodia Systems, CanTrack, said that while technology was helping to increase security, traditional physical methods still played an essential role in ensuring the safety of a machine.

He said there were clever criminals who could unlock codes and systems to cheat their way around technological security, and that physical security methods, such as steering wheel locks on cars, remained essential pieces of equipment.

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