What farmers can do to prevent it.
Farm vehicles have long been considered an easy target for thieves because of poor security measures, such as universal keys that can be used to start any tractor and the failure to use immobilisers.
But security is now starting to be upgraded. Some tractors and quad bikes are now being made with a new type of chipped key to make them more secure; however, many vehicles still lag conspicuously behind the modern security standards, leaving farmers unprotected against theft.
Meanwhile, criminals are also embracing new technology. They are increasingly using e-scooters and e-bikes, as they are faster than ordinary bikes and quieter than cars to scope out potential farms as targets. They also conduct their search for machinery to steal by trawling social media and online publications.
It is also increasingly common for criminals to use signal jammers to stop trackers working as thieves escape with a stolen quad bike.
Figures published by insurance company NFU Mutual show the extent of agricultural theft in the UK. The most recent report shows that, after significant increases in both 2018 and 2019, 2020 saw reductions in agricultural vehicle theft.