Police issue advice after spate of tractor GPS thefts

A tractor GPS device.

Police have issued advice after a recent seen a spate of thefts of tractor GPS systems in North Yorkshire.

Officers say the systems are expensive and their theft can have a huge impact.
However, police say there are a number of ways to protect them from opportunistic thieves.

A video has been produced by the force featuring Inspector Mark Earnshaw from the Rural Task Force, James Bainbridge, who farms near Stokesley, and Laurie Norris from National Farmers Union.

Police advice to farmers is to mark it, remove it and lock it.
To keep your tractor GPS screen safe:
• Remove screens when not in use and ensure they are left in a safe and secure location.
• Mark your postcode on GPS screens using forensic marking and use the stickers provided to advertise forensic marking is in use or, use an engraving tool.
• Record serial numbers and take photographs/videos from several angles, including any identifying marks.
• Use PINs – activate PIN security on GPS kit with your own unique number if possible.
And for tractor GPS receivers:
• If not in use disconnect, remove and secure in a safe location whenever possible.
• Remove from roof if not in use and the tractor is being used on a road – this will prevent advertising that you have a receiver.
• Ensure the software is up-to-date, and the device is marked with security warning stickers.
• Record serial numbers and take photographs/videos from several angles, including any identifying marks.
• Consider securing the tractor in a locked, alarmed building.

A police spokesperson added: “Also consider installing CCTV, alarm systems, security lighting and securing property boundaries as much as possible with good quality fencing and locked gates.

“Ensure devices are properly insured and check with your insurance company if they need to be itemised separately, especially once the device has been removed from machinery.

“As always, if there’s a crime in progress ring 999 immediately or call 101 for non-emergency incidents (for example, a crime that has already happened).”

Those who live in rural communities also being invited to join rural watch schemes, which see police officers work with a network of people who share information about crimes in rural areas.

For more information email CiPTeam@northyorkshire.police.uk