Derbyshire Constabulary’s Rural Crime Team has been awarded the prestigious 2023 Rob Oliver Award from the Construction Equipment Association (CEA) for excellence in the fight against construction plant and agricultural machinery theft.

The coveted industry award, first presented in 2021, is given annually to the most proactive Rural Crime Team in the UK. Winning forces must meet strict criteria based on the use and support of the construction industry’s official security marking and registration scheme, the Construction Equipment Security and Registration Scheme (CESAR) database.

Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster, recently invested £15k in the countywide roll out of the CESAR scheme, giving farmers an opportunity to have their vehicles, machinery and equipment securely marked with the industry standard CESAR Security Systems and ‘Datatag’ products to help deter thieves. The scheme is already active in North-East Derbyshire, Bolsover and South Derbyshire.

The Rob Oliver Award measures the success of Rural Crime Teams against the number of machine checks made on the CESAR database, the number of recoveries made and any other activity associated with the use and promotion of the CESAR Scheme.

Derbyshire’s Rural Crime Team was singled out for its exceptional effort to promote CESAR Security to the farming community in Derbyshire. It was also among the top three UK police forces nationally for making checks on CESAR-marked machinery.

More than £2m worth of machinery has been protected in Derbyshire via the team’s efforts with more installations of CESAR happening every day through a network of CESAR dealers across Derbyshire.

In addition, since the Rural Crime Team has been in place, supported by the rural PCSO, there has been a marked improvement in engagement with rural communities. This is evidenced by the increase in subscriptions to the Derbyshire Alert FarmWatch Group, which now has over 2800 members from just 500 in 2022.

Here is the backstory of how the team came to win the 2023 Rob Oliver Award

In 2020, PC Emerson Buckingham initiated a project in Derbyshire to enhance farm machinery security using the CESAR system. He successfully convinced three local authorities to finance a scheme that subsidised CESAR for local farmers. This funding was partly used by the police to protect replacement machinery and ATVs, provided at no cost to those at higher risk of theft. The initiative proved effective, as machinery secured with CESAR was less frequently targeted by thieves.

Encouraged by this success, more local authorities in Derbyshire began funding the CESAR scheme. By 2023, every local authority in the county contributed to a fund, substantially supported by the Derbyshire PCC Angelique Foster, who provided matching funds. This increased the fund to over £20,000, allowing CESAR to be offered to farmers and machinery owners at half price.

The police continued to use CESAR for marking theft replacement assets, which further demonstrated its effectiveness as a theft deterrent. Meanwhile, PC Buckingham and his team actively promoted farm security and forensic marking throughout Derbyshire, contributing to a significant reduction in related crimes. Their efforts led to their recognition as the 2023 winners of the Rob Oliver Award for Excellence in the Fight Against Construction Plant and Agricultural Machinery Crime.

Congratulating the Derbyshire team, Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster said:

“I am proud of this national award. The team deserves full credit for their hard work and efforts.

Our rural communities deserve a first-class response to the issues that threaten their safety and livelihoods. Derbyshire’s Rural Crime Team works hard to listen and understand these unique problems, and takes robust proactive action, alongside partners, to prevent more of these crimes and bring rural criminals to justice.”

Foster added: “Machinery theft costs farmers and agricultural businesses millions of pounds every year. They deserve the full support of the police in preventing these disruptive and costly losses. I am pleased Derbyshire’s Rural Crime Team is recognised as the best in the UK for its proactive work and will continue to push the force for further improvements.”

Rob Oliver, founder of the CESAR Scheme and retired CEO of the CEA said,

“The Derbyshire Rural Crime Team have really embraced the tools provided by the CESAR scheme to combat machine theft in their county. They recognise that thieves shy away from CESAR-marked and registered equipment and so prevents crime.

They have formed a great partnership with local Councils in their area and with Angelique Foster - the Police & Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire - who has provided her full backing. A great day out for me to learn about the valuable work of the rural crime officers.” 

Suneeta Johal, the Chief Executive of the Construction Equipment Association (CEA), said,

“The Derbyshire police force's efforts in combating machinery theft are commendable. I'd like to specifically congratulate the Derbyshire Police for their remarkable success and their dedicated work in protecting farm machinery in Derbyshire with CESAR. Their use of CESAR to monitor machinery across the county highlights the CEA's ongoing and solid commitment to this battle.” 

Picture Below: Rob Oliver (blue suit), Namesake of the Prestigious Award, with Angelique Foster, Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner,and the Derbyshire Police team, Celebrating the Rural Crime Team's Recognition as the UK's Most Proactive in Combating Rural Crime

Date Created: 17/01/2024

The Construction & Agricultural Equipment Security and Registration Scheme