Agricultural machinery and equipment theft – have your say

23 May 2023

An image of someone breaking a padlock on a door

The Home Office has opened a Call for Evidence on the Equipment Theft (Prevention) Bill, to include a consultation on extending the Bill’s remit to other large agricultural equipment and power tools.

The NFU has been working together with Greg Smith MP on the Bill, aimed at giving the Home Secretary new powers to make regulations that deter the theft and resale of Quads and ATVs (All-Terrain Vehicles).

We will respond to the call for evidence with some of the technical detail that NFU advisers researched to help with the drafting of the Bill.

The NFU is particularly interested in more powers to combat the current surge in the theft of removable GPS (Global Positioning Service) systems and will support a requirement for these units to be forensically marked to discourage resale and assist police investigations.

Stakeholders can send their feedback directly to government Equipment Theft (Prevention) Bill: Call for evidence by 13 July 2023.

The NFU is interested to hear feedback from members on the proposals for this Bill. You can submit your views by filling in the form below. Read our explanatory notes for more information on the Bill

Fill out my online form.

23 May 2023

NFU responds to the Call for Evidence

The NFU will respond to the call for evidence with some of the technical detail that NFU advisers researched to help with the drafting of the Bill.

NFU members can submit their responses via our form up until 2 July 2023.

Key features of the Bill

The purpose of the Equipment Theft (Prevention) Bill is to prevent the theft of machinery and equipment used by the agricultural sector, in particular quad bikes and ATVs (All-Terrain Vehicles).

It provides a power for the Secretary of State to make regulations requiring immobilisers and forensic marking to be fitted as standard to all new quad bikes and ATVs. The regulations will define the minimum standard that will apply to immobilisers and forensic marking.

The Bill requires immobilisers and forensic marking to be fitted or applied before equipment is sold to the customer. In practice this is likely to take place at the dealership or store, but it could be done during the manufacturing process.

In addition, there will be a requirement for the seller to maintain a record of the buyer from the date of sale for a specified period of time, likely to be 10 years. This record will assist police to identify and prove ownership of stolen ATVs and other equipment once recovered.

The Bill also provides a power for the Home Secretary to extend the provisions to other equipment designed or adapted primarily for use in agricultural or commercial activities. The Bill applies to England and Wales.

NFU Next Generation forum chair, Eveey Hunter, has written about how the theft of GPS units can have a massive impact on a farm business. Read her story: How one young farmer is using her voice to combat criminals

18 May 2023

Home office launches consultation

The Home Office has launched a Call for Evidence, inviting stakeholders to give their views on the following areas of the Equipment Theft (Prevention) Bill:

  • the definition of ATVs and agricultural equipment
  • a requirement for removable Global Positioning Service (GPS) systems to be forensically marked
  • the Recommended Retail Price (RRP) threshold of tools to be marked
  • specifications of immobilisers, and any implications for type approval
  • specifications for forensic markings
  • specifications for registration on databases

You can read and respond to the consultation in full at: GOV.UK | Equipment Theft (Prevention) Bill: Call for evidence

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  • 18 May: The Home Office launches a consultation on the proposals put forward by the Equipment Theft (Prevention) Bill – aimed at giving the Home Secretary new powers to tackle the resale and theft of farm equipment
  • 23 May: NFU seeks member views to help inform its response.