It’s estimated that every 23 minutes, a van is broken into in the UK. You’ll probably know someone who has been a victim of tool theft if you haven’t yourself. Therefore, you’ll know what a nightmare it can be. Not only do you have to pay to replace the stolen goods and repair the damage done to your vehicle, but it can also mean going days, if not weeks, without working.
Thieves are always on the lookout for the easiest way to get into a vehicle. That’s why it’s so important to deter them and make it as difficult as possible to get to your tools.
Latest Figures From London
Almost £57,000 of tools were stolen every day in 2020, according to data from the Metropolitan Police. There were 28,338 tool thefts reported between January 2019 and May 2021 – about 32 incidents a day.
It appears that thieves are ten times more likely to steal powered hand tools than non-powered hand tools, with 32,067 taken from 2019 to 2021, compared to 2,993 non-powered hand tools. In addition, 1,942 garden tools were stolen in the same period across the capital.
Tool Theft In The UK
£83million worth of tools were stolen in England and Wales between 2017 and 2019. Just 3% of tools are reunited with their owners.
More than a quarter of tools were taken from vehicles (28%), with a fifth stolen from homes and only 10% going missing from worksites or places of business.
A survey of tradespeople by Opinium last year found roofers had been the worst hit group, with 65% saying tool had been stolen, followed by electricians (58%), plumbers (55%) and carpenters (54%).
Parliament is considering legislation that would require marketplace websites to list the serial numbers of power tools and equipment so police and victims can track down stolen goods. But, perhaps unsurprisingly, 84 per cent of tradespeople don’t believe enough is currently being done to prevent tool theft.
Most people automatically lock their vehicles once they’re parked up on the drive at their home. However, what about when you’re unloading materials or tools or popping back into the garage to grab something? It’s essential to keep your van locked up whether you’re away from it for 5 minutes or 5 seconds.
Store Tools Elsewhere
Nowadays, many break-ins can be from ‘peal and steal’ and electronic key fobs, so even well-secured vans are at risk. If possible, remove tools from your vehicle as this will reduce the risk of losing them overnight. If this really isn’t possible, invest in a lockable, portable chest.
Keep Keys Hidden
Keeping your keys by the front door may be convenient for when you need to grab them in a rush, but it’s also convenient for thieves. They won’t refrain from using a coat hanger or piece of wire through the letterbox to get at them.
Aim to park with sliding or rear doors against a wall or sturdy fence, so it’s difficult for them to be opened. It would also help if you parked in busy, well-lit areas – preferably in view of a CCTV camera. Take a look at Park Mark– the UK Safer Parking Scheme.
Sound The Alarm
Most modern vehicles have alarms already fitted, however, if you have an older van, it’s crucial to get an alarm system installed. An alarm will alert people close-by to activity and most likely scare a thief away before they have time to take anything.
Mark your tools
Having identification marks on your pools (e.g. from paint or permanent marker) makes it more difficult for thieves to sell stolen tools. It can also help you as the owner to recognise and prove ownership of tools if they’re recovered.
Record serial numbers
Make note of serial numbers, as well as the make and model of your tools. Providing this information to the police in the event of them being stolen will, again, help you to recognise and prove ownership of the tools. It will also ease the process of making an insurance claim.
Make sure you’re insured
Replacing tools can be expensive. Having insurance in place, whether standalone tool insurance or as part of your business insurance policy will help to support you through the finance shock of tool theft. Check your policy and if you don’t already have your tools insured, consider adding it on. You should also check your policy working to find out what’s covered. Pay attention to what the limits and excesses are, and if there are any exceptions to be aware of.
For more information visit WTIB or contact Info@woottontaylor.co.uk