NCATT’s impact unveiled – key to rising success in construction & agricultural equipment recovery


In a significant development for the CESAR Security Marking & Registration Scheme, a recent gathering hosted by CEA member Nylacast in Leicester brought together key stakeholders, including police units, the National Construction & Agricultural Theft Team (NCATT), and new donors. They discussed the initiative’s current status and its future direction.

The involvement of the National Construction & Agricultural Theft Team (NCATT) significantly strengthens the CEA’s (Construction Equipment Association) CESAR scheme’s operational and strategic capabilities. Spearheaded by Superintendent Andy Huddleston from Durham, the team brings together dedicated officers from across the country, each with specialised knowledge and skills in combating theft within the construction and agricultural sectors. NCATT DC Chris Piggott from Thames Valley, NCATT PC Ashley Tether from Cheshire, along with Police Investigators Gavin Hughes from South Wales and Adam Bush from Devon & Cornwall, form a formidable team.

Their collective efforts are crucial in driving forward the initiative’s goals, from the recovery of stolen assets to the implementation of preventative measures. The diverse geographical representation within NCATT ensures a comprehensive approach to addressing equipment theft nationwide, reflecting the collaborative spirit that is vital for the scheme’s ongoing success and impact.

The gathering, marked by the participation of the Police Units that support the scheme, focused on presenting recent activities, notable successes, and strategic plans moving forward. Superintendent Andy Huddleston and DCI Lee Newman-West led the presentations, outlining the concerted efforts in combating equipment theft and promoting a secure environment for the construction and agricultural sectors.

A highlight of the meeting was the introduction of new donors to the scheme, signalling a broadening of support beyond the traditional backing from insurance companies. Among the first-time attendees was David Smith from the Construction Plant Hire Association, who discussed organising CITS training for the Police; Mark Bradshaw from Hire Association Europe, focusing on tools and small equipment; and John Mussett from CanTrack alongside Clive Wain and Steve Whittaker from Tracker, both companies specialising in tracking devices and systems.

This expanded support base comes against the backdrop of a significant increase in the recovery of stolen assets, as detailed in the NCATT figures for 2023. The total value of recoveries for the year stood at £6,212,875 across 499 instances, a significant rise from £2,303,000 in 2022. The data highlighted the recovery of agricultural and construction plant, ATVs/UTVs, cars, vans, caravans, and trailers, alongside the execution of 22 specialist vehicle examinations across the UK, support for 21 pre-planned policing and multi-agency operations, and engagement in 4 ports operations over 6 days.

Additionally, the meeting covered the scheme’s educational impact, with 11 days of training provided to 593 officers, participation in 5 national industry shows, and the facilitation of a ministerial briefing in Parliament, culminating in 6 hours of parliamentary debate.

The figures also shed light on the success of international recoveries since the EU Exit, with 2023 marking £921,200 in recoveries across 28 instances, demonstrating the scheme’s growing effectiveness and reach in combating equipment theft both domestically and internationally.

The CESAR scheme’s recent meeting highlights the collaborative efforts between the police, industry stakeholders, and new donors and also sets a promising path for the initiative’s continued expansion and impact in safeguarding assets within the construction and agricultural sectors.


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