NFU and police join forces to tackle
The NFU Mutual has formed a new partnership with police to tackle a sharp rise in farm machinery thefts.
In what is believed to be the first partnership of its kind, a police vehicle security specialist is working in the insurer’s offices to enable police and insurance investigations to be conducted simultaneously.
“This is rural crime prevention taken to a new level” said NFU Mutual Chief Claims Manager, John Kenny.
“Rural crime – particularly the theft of very expensive tractors for export – has become a major problem costing an estimated £42m in 2009 and we believe that working closely with police will result in more stolen farm machinery being recovered. As the UK’s leading rural insurer our members look to us to take a lead on tractor security. We’re very pleased to be funding an initiative which links police, manufacturers and industry bodies.
“Combined with robust security measures for machinery launched last year – with discounts available to NFU Mutual members – this co-ordinated response is making it much harder for thieves to steal from farms.”
The initiative has been welcomed by Police. “Close co-operation between the police, tractor manufacturers, and customer is essential to tackle organised criminals who are targeting farm machinery,” said DCI Mark Hooper, Head of the ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service.
“One of our specialist vehicle crime officers, DC Chris Ruff, will be working from NFU Mutual’s Stratford-upon-Avon Claims Unit. Working with the insurer’s staff, will enable recovery operations to be launched very quickly and co-ordinated through police, ports and international police force via Interpol and Europol.”