Theft falls in the UK

25 March 2008

Equipment theft in the UK actually fell by almost 20% in 2006, according to The National Plant and Equipment Register (TER), the organisation that maintains the largest equipment register in the country, writes Murray Pollok.

TER reported that more than 3500 items valued at over Ä31 million (€46 million) were stolen in 2006, compared to 4324 items valued at Ä43 million (€63 million) in 2005.

“Although this is a significant drop, plant theft is still a widespread serious organised criminal activity, often directly linked to the funding of terrorist groups,” says TER's Tim Purbrick. “There is still a long way to go and many serious issues still need to be addressed.”

Excavators are the highest value items stolen, and equipment transport trailers the most commonly stolen. Theft of telehandlers represents 3% of total theft and 8% of total value. The South East of England is the worst place for equipment theft, with Surrey, London and Kent being the most affected areas.

Mr Purbrick says; “We'd like to think that TER has played a part with its strategic campaign against equipment theft. Undoubtedly, the great weight of media coverage of equipment theft has created an awareness that has been acted upon. A number of manufacturers are fitting security devices in their factories, plant hire companies could be seeking after-market security devices and maybe equipment users are taking more care with site security.”

Despite the drop in reported thefts, the recovery rate for thefts is still very low, with an estimated 95% of stolen items never recovered.

TER, which is soon to open new offices in The Netherlands and Germany (see News this issue), has 550000 items valued at Ä2,6 billion (€3,8 billion) on its database. TER's 2007 Equipment Theft Report can be downloaded from

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