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Data released last year revealed that plant theft had increased by 55 percent since 2013, and is still rising at an alarming rate – plant theft in the UK is said to have cost businesses across the country over £70 million in 2017.

Considering these alarming statistics, if you own or manage an industrial business, you might need to reconsider how secure your premises are from different kinds of threats. Criminals who target plant and equipment often plan their crimes in advance, scoping out potential locations when sites are unmanned and vulnerable.

If you want to ensure no criminals gain access into your industrial site, there are certain precautions which you can take to strengthen your security presence.

Here’s how to protect your industrial site.


Equipment Criminals Are Likely to Steal

• Agricultural vehicles (e.g. tractors, trailers)

• Diggers and excavators

• Tools

• Surveillance systems

• Pressure/power washers

• Generators

• Rollers

• Wacker plates

• Lawnmowers

• Metals

• Landscaping materials


What You Can Do to Stop Them

Secure Gates and Fences

Investing in strong, durable fencing will minimise the chances of trespassers accessing your industrial site at any time of the day or night. There are numerous types of fences, walls, toppings and gates to choose from; the most frequently used for construction and industrial sites are anti-climb paint, timber hoarding, barbed or razor wire and steel-hoarding.



Many industrial companies across the UK are choosing barcoding and tracking devices to spot if any equipment is taken by criminals. The technology incorporates GPS, satellite and radio beacon devices to locate where stolen equipment is. If you choose to use this tech, make sure that the barcode/tracker is not easily noticeable or detachable, as thieves have been known to remove them and get away with the crime.


Effective Lighting

Movement sensitive lighting, as well as simply keeping lights on inside the building when it’s unoccupied, can create the sense that your site is being watched and occupied consistently. Additionally, lighting along the perimeter of your buildings or fences will allow you to clearly see anyone trying to gain access into your industrial site.


Paint Equipment Unusual Colours

To put thieves off stealing your equipment, painting objects colours which are less appealing, such as pink, can be a good tactic. This is because unusually coloured equipment will lower the resale value of equipment, deterring criminals. This is ideal for large vehicles and equipment which often sits outside on industrial sites for long periods of time.


Alarm Systems

Fitting an alarm system which is accredited by the SSAIB and installed by a recognised supplier will help catch individuals who want to enter your premises unsolicited. When the alarm sounds, it will alert security personnel immediately, ensuring all incidents are responded to as quickly as possible.


Regular Inspections/Checks

Having regular inspections of the premises and checking that all equipment, stock and valuables are accounted for will ensure that you aren’t missing any signs that someone is stealing from your industrial site.


CCTV Cameras

CCTV cameras are still a popular form of security for almost any type of premise. They can provide 24-hour surveillance as well as evidence that a crime took place if you need to go to court. Placing cameras high enough so that they can’t be vandalised and that their view is not obstructed by other objects such as trees and other buildings will protect cameras and improve the footage cameras provide.


Warning Signs/Posters

Signs and posters which warn people of the consequences of stealing or damaging equipment and trespassing, and that the area is being monitored by security alarms and CCTV, should be used to deter criminals. Ideally, these should be placed near all entrances and exits and in various places throughout your premises.


PIN/Password Protection

Use strong, random passwords for access points into your industrial site and any computer devices. You can even go a step further by installing fingerprint identification software, so that only the employees who have had their fingerprints verified can gain entry.


Industrial Security Guards

Industrial security guards are hugely beneficial for businesses that want ultimate protection in the form of a physical deterrent which can instantly respond to any threats to your business. Security staff can operate as either manned or mobile guards and can conduct patrols at any time of the day or night, 365 days a year.


Remove Tools and Keys from Vehicles/Trailers

Removing tools and keys from vehicles or trailers will prevent unnecessary hassle for you if a criminal decides to try their chances at pinching the keys and helping themselves to your tools and equipment – or maybe even driving off with the vehicle itself. Remember to store all tools inside locked or password protected storehouse and to leave keys in a place where only those who are permitted to use the tools can access them.



There are many different types of immobilisation systems and security restraints which can stop machinery and equipment from being moved. Steering mechanisms, excavator and crane booms, tracks and wheels, stabiliser legs and tow hitches are all ways in which to stop the mechanics from moving. Immobilisation systems can be activated with key fobs, transponder keys or a keypad/PIN code.


ID Checks

Identification cards should be issued to employees. This will help you check that everyone who enters the premises is a legitimate employee. If there are visitors, make sure they are issued with temporary ID passes and sign a logbook.


Employee Manual

Publishing and distributing an employee manual which instructs workers how to make sure that all regulations and restrictions are abided by on site will stand you in good stead for reducing crime. Consider issuing these as soon as an employee begins working for your industrial business and perhaps even offer regular training either in person or through online tutorials regarding security procedures.



Churchill Security can provide bespoke security solutions for your industrial business. We operate in areas across the UK and have been serving the industrial sector, as well as many others, since 1993.

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John Melling is a Director for Churchill Security Ltd. John is a highly motivated, determined and decisive security industry professional. Drawing on his extensive experience gained within the security industry whilst working on the coalface John has operated at all levels within the industry. He has a proven track record for motivating and leading high performance teams and has helped mentor and develop many people at Churchill who now hold key or senior positions within the business. John is committed to delivering only the finest services, exercising compelling leadership, maintaining good internal morale and striving to resolve any challenges efficiently and effectively.