Insurers blamed for lax recording of stolen vehicle details

Theft to order of plant equipment such as Tractors, building equipment and diggers are worth £36m a year the National Plant and Equipment Register (NPER) has said, the Telegraph reports.

3,678 pieces of plant equipment were stolen last year, including a record numbers of tractors, quad bikes and forklift trucks.

Tim Purbrick, NPER manager: ''The used equipment trade is like a huge money laundering machine where criminals push stolen equipment into the trade at one end and get clean cash out at the other.

''Serious organised criminals probably make more money out of equipment theft for far less risk than they do from smuggling drugs. It's a low risk, high reward crime.''

Thefts in 2008 (2007 in brackets - % added by Insurance Times)

  • 184 tractors worth about £2.1m (74)
  • 223 quad bikes (122)
  • 55 fork lift trucks (33)
  • 911 trailers (-17%)
  • 849 excavators (15%)
  • 244 dumpers (-4%)
  • 202 telehandlers (10%)

From the report

According to the NPER report, the number of thefts only rose marginally – 1.3% - from 3,630 and the average value of stolen items fell. The total value of thefts fell £425,000.

Telegraph again

Police in Surrey, Thames Valley, London, Kent and Greater Manchester experienced the highest levels of equipment theft.

The most valuable item stolen was a crusher worth £140,000 taken from Thackley, West Yorkshire.

Insurers fail

Purbrick said insurance companies are failing to check equipment they cover is not stolen.

He said: ''Efforts must be made by all concerned to break the vicious circle of equipment theft through unique keys, immobilises, tracking devices, better site security and use of due diligence for theft before trading, financing or insuring used plant and equipment.

''Until this vicious circle is broken, plant theft and fraud against insurers, banks and plant owners will continue to increase.''