The Scotsman

‘Pin it or pen it’ – keep track of GPS sys­tems

- By BRIAN HEN­DER­SON bhen­der­son@farm­ing.co.uk Tractors · Personal Safety · Tech · Agriculture · Industries · United Kingdom · Washington · NFU Mutual · Crime Intelligence

Fol­low­ing a rash of thefts by or­gan­ised and tech-savvy crim­i­nal gangs, farm­ers are be­ing warned to “pin it or pen it” when it comes to ex­pen­sive trac­tor GPS sys­tems.

Re­veal­ing de­tails of con­tin­ued crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity in the coun­try­side, lead­ing ru­ral in­sur­ers NFU Mu­tual has teamed up with the Na­tional Ve­hi­cle Crime In­tel­li­gence Ser­vice (NAVC IS) to urge farm­ers to make the most of pin en­abled se­cu­rity on their GPS kit – or to get back to ba­sics and in­deli­bly daub post­codes onto their sys­tems.

Warn­ing of in­ter­na­tional crim­i­nal gangs steal­ing to or­der for re-sale across the glob e, the mu­tual’s ru­ral af­fairs spe­cial­ist, Re­becca David­son said that her com­pany had been re­ceiv­ing claims for such thefts from farm sand trac­tor dealer ships across the length and breadth of the UK.

“GP S tech­nol­ogy plays such a vi­tal role in mod­ern day farm­ing and thefts of sys­tems have been de­bil­i­tat­ing for farm­ers who have been hit dur­ing the busy har­vest pe­riod. While re­place­ment sys­tems can be sourced, farm­ers are work­ing to tight we a ther win­dows and it takes time to get up and run­ning again,” said David­son.

And she warned that th­ese tended not to be op­por­tunis­tic thefts: “The thieves clearly know what they are look­ing for and we are get­ting re­ports of de­ter­mined crim­i­nal gangs us­ing drones to scope out farms, or care­fully plan­ning routes around CCTV sur­veil­lance to avoid be­ing caught.

“The feel­ing of be­ing watched and tar­geted is adding to feel­ings of anx­i­ety for those liv­ing and work­ing in iso­lated ar­eas.”

David­son said that as the Mu­tual was the main in­surer of the UK’S farm­ers, as well as work­ing with the au­thor­i­ties, the com­pany was also co-op­er­at­ing with trac­tor man­u­fac­tur­ers and en­cour­ag­ing them to in­tro­duce se­cu­rity mea­sures which would help to tackle the wor­ry­ing new crime trend.

DC Chris Pig­gott of NAVCIS added: “Our mes­sage to help pro­tect your property is sim­ple – pin it or pen it. So, if you have pin en­abled tech­nol­ogy to pro­tect your GPS sys­tem, make sure it’s up and run­ning and if not, daub your post­code onto kit us­ing in­deli­ble ink.

“It might not look pretty but it’s a big de­ter­rent to thieves who are steal­ing sys­tems to sell on across the world. Any­thing that is iden­ti­fi­able and will trace the kit back to its owner will im­me­di­ately put the thieves off.

“Also make sure you re­port any sus­pi­cious sight­ings to po­lice, which can help build up a pic­ture and share in­tel­li­gence with other forces.”

He also said that trac­tors and com­bines with GPS fit­ted were best stored out of sight when­ever pos­si­ble – and that any GPS kit should be re­moved from trac­tors and other ma­chin­ery and stored se­curely when not in use

He also said that farm - ers buy­ing sec­ond hand kit should take care not to in­ad­ver­tently buy stolen sys­tems from what ap­pear to be bona fide on­line sell­ers.

“Buy­ers are be­ing ad­vised to rig­or­ously check where the sys­tems have come from if buy­ing from out­side a deal­er­ship, and to be sus­pi­cious of any­thing that has had se­rial num­bers re­moved,” he said.

 ??  ?? 2 More and more farms op­er­ate hi-tech sys­tems with GPS sys­tem in trac­tors – which are be­ing tar­geted by crim­i­nal gangs
2 More and more farms op­er­ate hi-tech sys­tems with GPS sys­tem in trac­tors – which are be­ing tar­geted by crim­i­nal gangs

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