Tools and equipment are highly valuable items, regardless of their age or how many of their parts have been replaced or repaired. To an opportunist thief, plant machinery is much like a car or expensive technology in terms of cash value, so it's important to make sure that your plant is protected and has enough security surrounding it, to make theft as difficult as possible.
Nobody will ever be immune to crime, but Staffordshire Police recently released some guidelines for the owners of plant machinery to follow in order to protect their property.
Consider the location of your plant. If you're in a rural, isolated area you would be forgiven for thinking that you're less likely to be a victim of crime, but in actual fact, "having the public around can deter thieves". If there's no footfall by your plant, extra precautions must be made. Make sure the area is well-lit by security lights, so any late-night intruders will find they're easily seen as soon as they step onto the property. A plant that has no security lighting is far easier to rob as thieves can remain completely unseen - they will feel much more confident in the moment and have more time to take the highest value items.
Staffordshire Police also advise that plant machinery owners, and businesses with high value machinery on their property, consider high, spiked fencing that physically prevents people from accessing their plant. Companies with a larger budget might want the extra protection of mechanical locks and deterrents that prevent vehicles from being physically moved, tampered with or steered. These can be expensive, but those with particularly high value equipment might consider it a worthy investment.
Setting up CCTV as well as good lighting will make it far easier to identify those involved, in the event that your precautionary measures don't protect you entirely from theft. Think of CCTV as a back-up in case the unfortunate does happen. A plant with no CCTV would have very little hope of catching thieves, unless they could rely on witnesses, who may not even be present late at night, even in an urban area.
Other methods to consider are marking your equipment with some form of identification, such as the name of your plant, can prevent your stolen equipment from being resold quickly, if at all. Of course, hired equipment cannot be marked, but it's likely the company you hired from will have identified the equipment already. Another tactic to consider is tagging your machinery with a GPS tracker. Much like the immobilisers, this is something you might choose to implement with the highest value machinery only, as the cost can vary depending on the size of your fleet. If a theft occurs, you'll know exactly where your machinery is, aiding the police in their search as much as possible.
Taking this advice into account could reduce the cost of theft in your business, and keep both borrowed and owned equipment safe.
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