The Combined Industry Theft Solutions (CITS) group, in partnership with Police, Datatag & CESAR Official Security Scheme, and Leica Geosystems, held a successful police training event at their facilities in Whitchurch, Shropshire.

CITS in conjunction with Leica Geosystems, supported by equipment manufacturer Hitachi, and their fellow industry providers SITECH UK and Ireland, recently hosted a special police training event for over 60 police officers from regional forces.

The officers attended a full day’s training, which was opened by CITS chairman Ian Elliott, the Group Head of Security for the utility company Clancy, alongside CITS vice chairman, Seumas Ascott, Group Head of Security for the construction company J Murphy & Son’s.

Superintendent Andrew Huddleston from Northumbria Police also attended and highlighted the current threats and the importance of working in partnerships to tackle crime.

The training was delivered by both specialist police training officers and industry experts including DC Chris Piggott, of The National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVcis) and Police Liaison officer Peter Wilson from CESAR, who taught officers about the current threats around Construction and Agricultural machinery theft and highlighted techniques to identify stolen machinery, rogue equipment movements and common tricks used by criminals to target industry. Datatag’s police liaison officer, Vince Lane, provided practical advice on stolen plant.

Mark Francis presented on behalf of Leica Geosystems and demonstrated the Leica Total stations surveying equipment and new GPS excavator guidance systems.

Leica Geosystems Director Neil Williams commented:

“It was a pleasure to host the CITS event at the School in Shropshire; this facility was originally conceived for the education and technology adoption of Leica Geosystems solutions; this facility has now evolved to become more of a construction community-led centre, and events such as the CITS one drive this engagement further. The day’s content was very informative, not only to the police officers involved but the wider audience; some statistics shared were eye-watering regarding the valuation of thefts, and it was very encouraging to see alternative suppliers coming together to try and tackle this unfortunate attack on our industry.

Supported by positive social media, days like these will only reinforce the message; as an industry working collaboratively with the relevant forces, government bodies, and technology partners, we see theft as a significant issue, and the deterrent of is very high on our agenda.”

CITS Chairman Ian Elliott commented on the success of the day:

“It is really important to create partnerships with Police and highlight the issues our industry face in these tough times. All too often we hear people being critical of the police with regard to theft from both farms and construction sites. I can assure you that after speaking to these officers nothing is further from the truth. The enthusiasm they have shown in arresting the bad guys and girls is so refreshing. The support we have had from Leica Geosystems, Hitachi Machinery and the CESAR team has been outstanding and we hope days like this will make a real difference.”

The event was also supported by the Home Office industry schemes, CESAR, and MicroCESAR, both identification marking systems used by Police to easily identify ownership of plant and machinery used on both farms and construction sites.

The day was positively received by all those that attended.

CITS, an industry forum comprising representatives from the Home Office, Police, Insurers, and Industry will continue to host a series of further events in 2023. Officers should register their interest in future events, with faye@cits.uk.com

Further details can be found on the CITS website www.cits.uk.com