Organised Criminal Gangs Targeting Plant and Agricultural Equipment
Stolen vehicle recovery expert, TRACKER, has urged police to recognise and respond to the growing problem of thieves using GPS jammers targeting plant and agricultural businesses. Supporting the Lancashire Constabulary Agricultural Crime Conference, TRACKER put the spot light on how organised criminal groups are employing new tactics to outwit police as they steal equipment and vehicles to order.
Villans have been importing cheap GPS jammers from overseas, using them to steal prestige cars and 4x4s for some time, but there is growing evidence that gangs of thieves have been branching out to take advantage of a demand for plant. Alarming new figures from NFU Mutual estimate that approximately £1.5million of construction and agricultural machinery is stolen every week in the UK. TRACKER believes that GPS jamming is playing a significant role in supporting this unlawful activity.
Tackling the problem head on, TRACKER’s stolen vehicle recovery solutions have been specifically designed to be resilient to GPS jamming. Unlike any other solutions on the market, TRACKER combines GSM, GPS and VHF* technology to create the most robust tracking device available.
Talking at the Agricultural Crime Conference, Stuart Chapman, head of TRACKER’s Police Relationship Team explained: “Systems that rely on GPS alone are susceptible to jamming, confirming the potential weakness of most tracking devices available today. By combining 3 different means of location, including unique VHF technology, TRACKER offers owners and hirers of plant machinery the most effective safeguard against theft, even if the GPS does fail.”
“By working in partnership with TRACKER, Lancashire Constabulary has recently made significant stolen vehicle recoveries and detected serious crime in the county. It is this partnership approach that makes Lancashire a more difficult region in which to commit vehicle crime,” comments Detective Sergeant Simon Ingham of the Organised Vehicle Crime Team, Lancashire Constabulary.
TRACKER’s SVR systems work like an electronic homing device and currently recover an average of £2million worth of stolen vehicles and equipment each month. The system places a covert transmitter on the owner’s vehicle, providing no visible evidence for the thief to suspect any security device. The signal is then tracked by any UK police force, directing them to the exact location of the stolen vehicle.
Unlike other stolen vehicle recovery systems, TRACKER’s devices work no matter where the vehicle or equipment is hidden, even if taken abroad, offering owners the ultimate protection against the permanent loss of their assets should the worst happen.
Concludes Stuart Chapman: “The current over-reliance on GPS as a security and recovery system increases the threat of jammers. Although GPS has a part to play, it is vital we recognise the impact of its vulnerability and put a stop to businesses becoming victims of attack from jamming devices.
“TRACKER figures show that a staggering 68 percent of all plant and agricultural equipment we recover is done so within 24 hours of the TRACKER device being activated and 10 percent of those are recovered within just one hour. With agricultural crime estimated to cost the British countryside more than £50 million a year, our jamming resilient tracking devices can only serve to bring peace of mind to those agricultural vehicle and equipment owners who invest in a TRACKER unit.”