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Theft of plant and agriculture machinery

Unfortunately the theft of agriculture plant and machinery is an ever growing issue across the UK.

Items of plant and machinery are hugely expensive and easy to sell for profit and often targeted by organised criminal groups. Agriculture vehicle theft cost £9.1m. (Source NFU Mutual rural crime report 2021)

The rural affairs unit will continue to visit victims and farms and will also be holding events in the coming months across the force area to promote good preventative measures and practice surrounding securing your agriculture plant and machinery to prevent theft of these items.


  • Monday 28th November, 2022

    The rural affairs unit have carried out numerous prevention events over the last few months, these events were mainly focussed on preventing the theft of agriculture trailers. Collaborative working with our partners DATATAG, NFU and Cornish Mutual. The unit offered Free marking of agriculture trailers during these events as well as an opportunity to deliver some relevant crime preventative advice to protect your plant and machinery. In total we successfully security marked 100 trailers over the events held.

  • Wednesday 26th October, 2022

    The last month has seen a rise of agriculture trailer theft across the force. We are urging our farming communities to be vigilant and review their security measures. Here are some security tips:

    • Record trailer serial numbers and photograph your trailer. A photo will assist publicity and possible recovery should you become a victim of theft. Record obvious damage and repairs which may help with identification. The above advice is vital. Store on


    • Having your trailer marked, security marked with forensic property marking systems such as SELECTA DNA, DATATAG. You could also mark in several areas – e.g. by painting on your post code / farm name really bold to deter theft.


    • Secure your trailer using a wheel clamp, hitch lock.


    • Chaining items together and securing to a solid structure / appropriate ground anchor with a high rated CEN padlock and chain.


    • The removal of wheels if your trailer is not going to be used for a period and store them in a separate place than the trailer itself.


    Advice: We recommend the use of security products which are compliant with the appropriate British Standard, in addition look for products that carry the Sold Secure or Secured by Design accreditation. These products have been tested and proven to resist a considerable level of attack. Suppliers of suitable accredited products can be found via these websites:

  • Thursday 29th September, 2022

    Good news story: A TYM T290 Tractor that was stolen last month in the Somerset east area has been located and recovered this week by rural affairs officers. Investigations are still on-going.

  • Friday 23rd September, 2022

    The rural affairs unit in company with the Roads Policing team carried out an operation where several items of plant, machinery and trailers were stopped and checked . This is part of our ongoing work to deter and detect stolen items being moved around on our roads. Items were seized on the day and investigations are currently on-going.

  • Tuesday 16th August, 2022
    • The unit will be attending Sedgemoor agriculture market (Junction 24) on the 17th of September, where they will be running a crime prevention event. This event will mainly be focussed on preventing the theft of agriculture trailers, with collaborative working with partners DATATAG and NFU the unit will be offering Free marking of agriculture trailers (limited kits) during this event as well as giving some useful crime preventative advice to our farming communities.
  • Thursday 23rd June, 2022

    Good news story: As a result of an investigation involving officers from a Neighbourhood Policing team, rural affairs unit, Intelligence Investigators and Vehicle Recovery, a quadbike stolen from a farm in the force area in May has now been recovered and will be returned to the rightful owner.

    We would like to remind our farmers and landowners to make a note of all serial numbers/ chassis numbers on their plant and equipment. This could prove vital when identifying and returning stolen property.

  • Friday 27th May, 2022

    Crime prevention advice on keeping your plant and machinery safe.

    • Consider fitting tracking devices on your agriculture and plant vehicles. You can also mark them using security or forensic markings. Check with your insurance provider as some will offer discounts once a tracker is fitted.
    • Consider locking vehicles and plant in secure outbuildings or containers.
    • Record vehicle and machinery serial numbers and take photographs for reference. If your plant is stolen a photo will increase publicity and possibly aid the recovery of your stolen property.
    • Secure your vehicle (QUAD and ATVs) using suitable locking devices and fixed ground anchors secured to the floor using the correct gauge in security chains and padlocks.
    • Protect your vehicles, trailers and plant by registering them on the Immobilise Property Register.
    • Consider fitting a key safe so keys to vehicles are kept in a secure place.
    • Remove all GPS from your machines when not in use and store in a secure place.
    • Ensure all trailers are fitted with a good standard wheel clamp and hitch lock. Consider the use of a ground anchor also.
  • Thursday 28th April, 2022

    The unit attended Frome agriculture market this week, where they carried out a crime prevention event.

    This event was mainly focussed on preventing the theft of agriculture trailers.

    With collaborative working with partners DATATAG and NFU the unit managed to mark 38 agriculture trailers during the event as well as giving some useful crime preventative advice to our farming communities.

  • Thursday 14th April, 2022

    Officers from the unit have recovered two stolen agriculture trailers in recent weeks. Investigations are on-going in reference to both of these incidents.

    This shows the Importance of reporting all rural crime and the marking of your property correctly to enable identification to be carried out.

    Advice: Please consider taking photos and collating all VIN, chassis, serial numbers of all your property to assist in any identification.

  • Saturday 26th March, 2022

    Following a recent report of a theft of a mini excavator in Dorset, two men were arrested on suspicion of theft this week after a joint operation at a location in Somerset with the rural affairs unit and our colleagues from the Dorset rural crime team. Investigations are currently on-going as we continue to tackle rural crime and the theft of plant and machinery.

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