The Equipment Register (TER), which traces stolen construction plant, is close to recruiting Swiss insurer Winterthur – the parent of direct writer Churchill.

Bath-based TER this week successfully signed up west country insurer Cornish Mutual. It follows the news that the Home Office has written to every manufacturer of heavy equipment, encouraging them to join TER.

TER has so far recovered more than 1,000 pieces of plant and equipment valued at a total of £8m. Figures by the register show the average value of thefts has risen from £4,400 in 1999 to £7,300 this year.