Click here to see latest events

Plant Theft Still Increasing in the Construction Sector

Theft of plant and machinery has always been an issue for the construction sector with estimates in the region of £400m worth of machinery being stolen in the UK every year and the events of the last few years have exacerbated the problem, giving organised crime gangs the perfect opportunity to target construction sites which are often left vulnerable.  In addition to this, delays in production caused by the pandemic have increased the value of second hand equipment making it easy to sell for a profit which is then used to fund other criminal activities.  With plant generally being difficult to track and recover, there is no real deterrent.

Construction related theft is often premeditated, especially where larger items of machinery and equipment are concerned. Some criminals even make a career from the theft and resale of construction plant. Demand for equipment is currently at a high within the industry.

Budget cuts have left the police under resourced making it difficult for them to allocate time to try and retrieve stolen plant.  They often don’t visit the scene to investigate due to lack of resources.

Consequently, owners are looking more and more to other methods to prevent loss such as CCTV, trackers, more sophisticated keys and locking systems on plant, plant safes etc.  Trackers with in built immobilisation is the most technologically advanced method of protecting plant at the present time with a system that alerts the owner if the plant is moved whilst the ignition is turned off.

It is estimated the UK construction industry loses more than £800 million a year due to theft when taking into account all the associated costs including the plant replacement, hire of alternative equipment, loss of business and increased insurance premiums and whilst this has a detrimental effect on all sizes of business, it is SMEs who face the biggest risk potentially leaving them struggling to survive.

Options to assist with security are as follows:

  • Register with the National Plant and Equipment Register
  • Heras fencing helps visibility on site making it more difficult for thieves to work unnoticed
  • Security Guards and or a security post to regulate visitors
  • Good quality portable lighting
  • CCTV, alarm systems, plant safes and site offices
  • Remove ignition keys and immobilise equipment when not in use
  • Register equipment with the CESAR marking scheme to increase chance of recovery

ProAktive are available to assist with plant cover and claims handling for our clients; please contact us for further information.

By Jo Elliott ACIIChartered Insurance Broker & Account Executive







Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *