Bishop of St Albans asks about reduction of crime in rural areas

The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answer on 17th April 2023:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of installing tracking devices on farm machinery to reduce rural crime.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom (Con): The Government is committed to driving down rural crime. Whether someone lives in the countryside or a town or city they should get the same high-quality service from the police if they fall victim to a crime.

To help prevent the theft of agricultural machinery the Government is supporting the Equipment Theft (Prevention) Bill which will require immobilisers and forensic marking to be fitted as standard to all new All-Terrain Vehicles and quad bikes. These measures are designed to prevent theft of agricultural equipment subject to the legislation. The Bill does not include a requirement for tracking devices to be installed, as these assist with recovering vehicles rather than preventing theft.

The Bill also provides a power for the Secretary of State to extend the legislation to other equipment designed or adapted primarily for use in agricultural or commercial settings. We are intending to consult on extending the legislation to other agricultural machinery and handheld power tools.

The Bill has completed its passage through the House of Commons and was introduced in the House of Lords on 6 March.


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