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m.logistics Magazine | On Track & On Target | Tracking ‘could curb agricultural theft’

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30 December 2014

Tracking ‘could curb agricultural theft’

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Reports of a sharp increase in rural theft have prompted the telematics market respond with the suggestion that tracking systems can play a significant role in mitigating the effects. 

The findings appear in a report from NFU Mutual, which is said to insure three out of four UK farmers. It says 2013 was the UK’s worst on record for livestock theft, which cost the UK’s rural economy £44.5 million. Overall rural theft, including farming vehicles, fertilisers and livestock, was up 5.2 per cent on the previous year.

The most common items stolen from the farming community over the last 12 months have been tools, followed by all-terrain vehicles and quad bikes. Criminals are also said to have started to turn their attention to fertilisers and pesticides, stealing product worth £20,000 in one raid.

In Cambridgeshire alone, theft of vehicles and equipment is said to have amounted to at least £2.7 million.

One tracking specialist, Road Angel, has launched a system specially geared to the needs of the agricultural market. It says its Tough Track system provides a viable and cost effective solution that can be monitored online 24 hours a day.

The company adds that its Bike Trac all-terrain vehicle product not only protects quads and ATVs from theft, but also affords lone workers an extra level of safety with live tracking.

Telematics specialist Bluetrack is suggesting that its small GPS trackers are an ideal solution, as they can be placed out of sight in any vehicle, and should enable its owner to trace its location if stolen.

Whilst NFU Mutual does not itself yet appear to have put major resource into promoting telematics-based insurance schemes, Bluetrack director Keith Walker points out that its units can track livestock and fertiliser as well as vehicles. “Farmers will have the upper hand if any of their assets get stolen,” he argues.

His company’s Sniper system offers live tracking in real time across the globe. Bluetrack also offers budget systems at prices starting at £85.


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