Working together to tackle plant and machinery theft

The unit will focus on the offences committed by organised crime groups which are part of a series and involve cross border offending

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The theft of equipment from construction sites and farms has a significant impact on the businesses targeted from both the loss and replacement of the equipment taken, in addition to the cost of temporarily reduced activity and downtime within these sectors.

In response to this problem, a newly established dedicated Agricultural and Construction Equipment (ACE) specialist police unit will operate within Opal, which is the national intelligence unit focused on serious organised acquisitive crime (SOAC) across the UK

The unit will focus on the offences committed by organised crime groups which are part of a series and involve cross border offending. By developing proactive working relationships with law enforcement, partner and business agencies the ACE Unit will work to reduce the theft of stolen plant and agricultural equipment and maximise the recovery of stolen equipment, both nationally and internationally.

Officers from ACE will work to develop, collate and co-ordinate intelligence from a variety of sources to identify and disrupt organised criminality and target those involved in these thefts, also identify any current and emerging crime trends and threats.

The Unit is funded jointly with donations from the Construction Equipment Association (CEA) the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) and a group of insurance companies with a specific interest in the construction plant and agricultural sectors. Aviva is one of these insurers.

Gary Thom, our engineering underwriting manager, said: “It is great news that the launch of the new ACE police unit is being announced. A team dedicated to reducing theft of plant and equipment, and the consequences that has for the victims of crime, is a very welcome development.

”The launch of the new unit is also very timely, as the country recovers from the pandemic and returns to more normal levels of activity with the potential that brings for increased criminality. I appreciate the efforts by all parties involved.”