A new alliance between UK-based The Survey Association (TSA) and SmartWater is leading to detailed analysis and police follow-up on incidents of equipment theft.

The three-year agreement between TSA and SmartWater is the first coordinated response to thieves that persistently target surveyors. As a direct result of the TSA initiative, SmartWater operatives are sharing incident information with the police and discussing the impact of theft on survey companies with crime prevention officers. 

Incidences of equipment theft routinely halt work schedules, raise concerns about personal safety and security, and incur additional costs in replacement and insurance premiums for survey companies.

“The biggest impact theft has on surveyors is loss of working time and the additional cost of replacing equipment,” says Dave Bennett, business manager for Topcon GB and Ireland. “Collating data around stolen equipment will support affected engineers, as well as elevate the issue within the industry, which is why we back TSA’s initiative with SmartWater.”

Theft data submitted to SmartWater’s Intelligence Portal puts the estimated cost of stolen equipment to TSA member companies from September 2017 through February 2018 at $2.5 million, an average of $425,000 per month.

“Theft in the UK of survey equipment is rife, and Leica Geosystems is working hard on many fronts to provide solutions and support to the industry, so we actively support the TSA initiative of the SmartWater database,” says John Fraser, president, UK & Benelux Hexagon Geosystems.

Information submitted through the Intelligence Portal is also used to compile monthly reports for TSA members, identify crime hotspots, emerging crime trends and possible links to current investigations. An additional risk rating briefing for members is issued each quarter, with advice for crime prevention to those likely to be a target.

“Theft of survey equipment has become a huge problem for our profession causing tremendous distress to the surveyors involved and significant financial loss to businesses,” said Ian Pennington, geospatial strategic key account manager at Trimble. ‘’We fully support this important initiative by TSA to assist their members on crime prevention and equipment recovery measures.”

Non-TSA members can also report their thefts through the Intelligence Portal to ensure that the whole picture is captured, though only TSA Members will receive SmartWater’s monthly reports and briefings. For more information on TSA, visit www.tsa-uk.org.uk/. For further details and to submit information on theft of survey equipment, send the TSA an email at office@tsa-uk.org.uk.