Farming unions have praised the progress of a new bill to tackle the theft and resale of farm equipment, which recently passed its second reading in the House of Commons.
The NFU has been working together with Greg Smith MP and a number of other organisations, to produce the Equipment Theft (Prevention) Bill, aimed at unlocking new powers for the Secretary of State to tackle the resale and theft of farm equipment.
If the Bill completes its journey through the House of Commons and House of Lords and becomes law, the Home Secretary will have the power to make regulations that deter the theft and resale of Quads and ATVs (All-Terrain Vehicles).
The NFU commented, “This year has seen a huge uptick in rural crime incidents, with NFU Mutual’s 2022 Crime Report indicating that the cost of rural crime has risen by more than 40% in the first quarter, with Quad and ATV theft totalling £2.2m in the previous year.
“The NFU has been working closely with the Home Office on the new Bill, along with NFU Mutual, and other key stakeholders, as well as facilitating meetings between insurers, police leaders, security companies and manufacturers to identify solutions.”
As part of the Private Members’ Bill, dealers will be required to keep records of equipment they have sold and details of purchasers. The second-hand machinery market is not currently regulated and sellers do not have to prove the origins of items them are selling.
David Bean, parliament relations manager for the Countryside Alliance, commented, “No corner of the marketplace, be it sold in person or online, should be a safe haven for the profiteers of this crime. We renew our support for this Bill as it continues its parliamentary journey and look forward to the real difference it stands to make to rural businesses and communities.”