Rise of the Drones in Rural Crime

Drones are rapidly becoming a weapon of choice for thieves targeting farm machinery and vehicles. The gathering of intelligence is happening in ‘specifically-targeted’ actions by well-organised gangs and criminals.

Drones are being piloted over farms and land by thieves to identify potential targets. This relatively new technology allows thieves to explore farms from the air where they will be used to identify security weak spots – the aerial footage is allowing thieves to gain intelligence about farm movements, buildings, entry and exit points, and security such as CCTV cameras and of course equipment and machinery – all without detection.

Light-weight drones do not require a licence – therefore, the price of unmanned aerial vehicles is getting lower all the time and can be as little as only £50-£100.

Quad bikes and ATVs are amongst the biggest target for thieves owing to their portability, high value and ease to sell world-wide. Owners of these vehicles are being encouraged to increase security following a significant rise in thefts as the use of drones is rising to scope out farms and rural properties.

Each year, it is estimated between 800 and 1,100 all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are stolen from farms across the United Kingdom – with criminals targeting rural communities before quickly selling on stolen equipment and machinery.

This figure is set to rise as the global shortage of components and microchips is holding up manufacturing and across-the-board – this includes ATVs and Quad bikes. Before the supply chain issue, a farmer could visit a local ATV dealer and pick up a replacement vehicle with ease, sometimes within a week or so but now, there’s a waiting list of anything up to a year!

CESAR Compact System

Identification of stolen compact vehicles, such as ATVs and quads has already been made far easier with CESAR. This proven technology is being utilised by most leading manufacturers, and members of the farming community currently retrofit the CESAR Compact System, to their new and used agricultural vehicles.

The CESAR Compact System reduces the risk of theft by enabling plant owners to apply a permanent identification to their assets through a combination of proven Datatag technologies including tamper evident warning labels, RFID transponders and Datadots® with forensic DNA solution. It’s also backed by Datatag’s secure 24/7 Contact Centre.