Gangs on e-scooters targeting GPS farm equipment
Date of alert:
Monday, 8 August 2022
Gangs are using e-scooters to sneak on to UK farms and steal high-value GPS technology, an insurer has said.
NFU Mutual said the cost of replacing the stolen equipment that forms an "essential part of modern farming" nearly doubled in a year to £2.9m.
"Highly-organised criminals continued to plague farmyards," with quad bikes also being targeted, the firm said.
But it says the overall number of theft claims in 2020 fell by 20% to £43.3m, amid the coronavirus lockdowns.
Global positioning systems (GPS) equipment on tractors can cost up to £10,000 a piece. It helps farmers map their acreage and make the most efficient use of their land.
The technology is "in demand across the globe" and has become the "rural thieves' top target", the insurer said.
"Without GPS... harvests can be delayed and farmers are left unable to work," said Rebecca Davidson, rural affairs specialist with NFU Mutual.