Plant theft is down for the first time in 12 years, according to a new report by The National Plant and Equipment Register (TER).

In its 2007 Equipment Theft Report, TER reveals that plant theft has fallen by 18% over the last year.

But it urges equipment owning companies not to be complacent. TER's Tim Purbrick, said: “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. There is still a long way to go and many serious issues still need to be addressed.”

In its 2007 report, TER reveals that more than 3,500 higher value equipment items were stolen in 2006 with a total value in excess of £31m; this compares with 4,324 items worth £43m reported as stolen to TER in 2005 when plant theft was at a record high.