Warning after surge in GPS thefts

A leading rural insurer has warned farmers in Scotland to increase security in their farmyards following a surge in tractor global positioning system (GPS) thefts.

There has been a surge in tractor global positioning system (GPS) thefts.

NFU Mutual said that in recent weeks thefts of expensive GPS kit had been reported in East Anglia, the Midlands and the North West of England.

“We’re seeing a resurgence in GPS theft in some areas and we are concerned it could spread to other parts of the UK,” said Bob Henderson, who leads NFU Mutual’s Agricultural Engineering Field Team.

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He said that thieves were stealing all makes and models of GPS control units, together with screens and domes: “It’s worryingly similar to last year’s unprecedented surge in GPS thefts, which saw equipment stolen from farms across the UK.”

But while Scotland has not so far been targeted in the most recent spate of thefts, Henderson urged farmers to take precautions and protect their equipment.

The advice was backed up by Inspector Alan Dron, Police Scotland Rural Crime Coordinator: “Despite recent success in apprehending individuals responsible for multiple theft of GPS kits in various areas of Scotland, it is clear from colleagues south of the border this is once again on the increase.”

Urging the adoption of precautionary measures he advised farmers to activate PIN security on the kit, record serial numbers and mark equipment with the farm’s postcode, to remove demountable kits and to keep tractors and combines with GPS fitted stored out of sight. He also advised to check serial numbers before purchasing second hand equipment.