Allianz Engineering tackles machinery theft

By Dominic Ellis
Allianz Engineering is supporting a new taskforce focusing on construction plant and agricultural theft

Allianz Engineering is supporting a new taskforce focusing on construction plant and agricultural theft, as criminals continue to target sites in the UK and internationally.

As part of the Opal, the national intelligence unit focused on serious organised acquisitive crime (SOAC) across the UK, the Agricultural and Construction Equipment (ACE) unit will target construction plant and agricultural machinery theft.

The key message from the taskforce is to promote collaboration across all relevant industries  insurers and associations such as the Construction Equipment Association (CEA) and the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA).

Steven Kelly, head of insurance for Engineering Construction & Power, Allianz Insurance, said: “It is definitely a step in the right direction, and with so many different insurers with a keen interest in construction, it is a real encouraging and positive step in fighting this type of crime. We look forward to working with the new unit, helping in any way we can to ensure they can get on with the job of catching these thieves.”

The first official launch of the unit was in April this year, where it was introduced to police forces nationwide, key partners and collaborating trade associations.

The first scheduled meeting of the ACE team, manufacturers, operators, hirers and insurers will take place in September, where formal introductions will take place, and objectives discussed.

With the sector facing universal supply shortages, building materials are hard to get a hold of - and attracting unwanted attention from criminals, everywhere from Ipswich in the UK to Florida in the US. Companies must also be vigilant securing sites that have been placed in lockdown, or working hybrid hours during the pandemic.

Theft is the most common crime in the sector with 21% of respondents stating that they experience theft each week and, overall, 92% are affected weekly, monthly or yearly, according to a report by The Chartered Institute of Building.

The most popular security measures are enhanced lighting and secure storage (93% of respondents) and the most common staff monitoring measures are reference checks (94%), qualification checks (90%) and the CSCS card scheme (85%). 

Electronic equipment registers are also useful in keeping a record of who last used the equipment and when, allowing equipment to be tracked if it goes missing.

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