According to new information from The National Plant and Equipment Register, plant theft has dropped for the first time in 12 years.
The 2007 Equipment Theft Report, published today, shows that plant theft has fallen by 18% over the last year.'Although this is a significant drop, plant theft is still a widespread organised criminal activity, often directly linked to the funding of terrorist groups,' warns TER's Tim Purbrick. 'There is still a long way to go and many serious issues still need to be addressed.''Evidence directly links equipment theft to the funding of terrorist groups,' he says. 'Experts fear stolen equipment could be used as a Trojan horse either to smuggle illicit property, such as weapons or drugs into the UK, or to hide explosive devices. With the 2012 Olympics construction phase now underway, equipment owning companies need to continue their fight against plant theft and deny, deter and detect equipment thieves.'Since 2000, more than £216M of stolen equipment has been reported to TER. In 2006, the most expensive item stolen was a £300,000 25 tonne Volvo road rail lorry. The most popular manufacturer to steal was Williams (733 thefts), followed by JCB (317 thefts) then Benford (192 thefts.Most thefts occur in the South-East, and 95% of items are never recovered. Excavators are the most popular items for thieves.