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How to Trace Stolen Construction Site Assets

20/12/2019 in Security

Successfully running a construction site involves managing many different logistical strategies and elements. Your construction site security is a vital consideration to protect your site and assets from thieves and trespassers. Stolen assets on construction sites attribute to an average of £800 million in losses in the industry every year.

The most common assets stolen from construction sites include; tools, surveying equipment, breakers, generators, diggers and rollers. Thefts can lead to project delays, rising insurance premiums, and additional expenses for replacements.

The importance of protecting your construction site assets

Assessing the possibility of theft on your construction site will help you plan accordingly and reduce risks. By evaluating any potential breach points, security solutions can be put in place to discourage the likelihood of theft taking place.

Thieves are more likely to steal equipment that is valuable and easy to move, so ensuring that your site is secured, can help deter criminals. Installing CCTV and access control can reduce your constructions sites vulnerability to tampering, costly damage and assets being stolen.

On average, about 25% of stolen equipment is recovered. Registering and tracking your construction equipment is the best practice to safeguard your assets. The ability to trace stolen construction site tools and machinery can be critical in the recovery process.

How to Trace Stolen Construction Site Assets

Creating an inventory

Creating an inventory and staying up to date on your assets allows you to keep track of each item. Regular inspection of your inventory can help immediately identify if a piece of equipment has been stolen, thus aid in the tracing and recovery of your assets.

Making a note of any distinguishable marks on your equipment, or whether you have chosen to purposely engrave or stamp equipment with a recognisable name, number or symbol, enables you to easily recognise the piece of equipment is yours and part of your inventory.

Having distinguishable marks can also act as a deterrent for thieves as marked equipment would be harder to sell and they are less likely to steal equipment which can put them at risk of being identified.

Taking photographs of your assets to add to your inventory database can be a good back up to aid police in identifying your stolen goods, should other measures not suffice.

CESAR and TER registration scheme

The Construction Equipment Security and Registration (CESAR) scheme was launched as a response to combat stolen construction site machinery being resold. It also aims to investigate and locate the stolen tools and other building equipment.

It was implemented as a combined effort of the police and the Plant Theft Action Group (PTAG) and promoted by the Construction Equipment Association (CEA). They came to an agreement that a national registry and labelling programme should be implemented to help reduce theft in this industry.

The scheme uses different technologies such as Datadots, Glass tags, unique plant identification plates and hi-tech scanners to check whether that specific piece of equipment has been flagged as stolen. Registering your assets to this scheme ultimately assists in identifying the owner of the stolen assets.

The Equipment Register (TER) is very similar to the CESAR scheme and upon registration, provides vital information that helps the relevant people (i.e. the police, ports, dealers and auction houses) identify your stolen equipment.

If your assets are registered under this scheme, it will then get flagged up by an auction house or the police if they check the ownership and theft status with TER, and essentially return it to its rightful owner.

Forensic marking

With small equipment and tools, forensic marking can be a cost-effective and very useful way of protecting and tracing them from theft. Displaying a warning label that the products use this form of advanced ID technology will serve as a deterrent to potential thieves.

Forensic method of marking works hand in hand with registering to a central database, like CESAR, as registering makes it easier in the event of theft to retrieve the stolen assets.

Forensic marking kits are more effective compared to labelling or engraving on your tools. It becomes impossible to resell forensic marked tools as it is virtually impossible to remove the marking, and it is invisible to the naked eye.