February 18, 2020

Protect your trade from being a victim of tool theft

With up to 22 vans being stolen every day in the UK, and a 54% rise in tool theft since 2016, safe.co.uk is offering advice to keep tradespeople and their vans safe.

Freedom of Information data provided by the Met Police has demonstrated 16,725 tool thefts were reported over the last year. The average insurance claim for tool theft in 2019 was £2,685, a figure that has risen over £1,400 since 2016. Safe.co.uk has estimated it would take 450,000 days of extra work from tradespeople in the UK to cover the costs of their stolen kit in 2019.

To prevent further thefts, safe.co.uk has provided its top safety tips:

  1. Remove tools overnight
    The ultimate prevention tactic. Although it may mean that your van is damaged on entry, you will still have your tools and be able to do your work.
  2. Use an extra alarm system
    Many vans will come with an alarm system pre-fitted, but you can also buy alarm systems to help secure your vehicle. It could mean that the thief decides to abandon the raid, but you’ll be alerted via your phone, so you’ll know that it’s happened straight away. If you use stickers to deter thieves, be careful not to include the name of the alarm system, as some thieves may know how to disable particular systems.
  3. CCTV
    Mount a visible, but out of reach, security camera. Not only will this act as a deterrent for thieves, but if you are unfortunate enough to get broken into, you will have footage of the thieves.
  4. Check insurance
    Check your insurance as thoroughly as possible to make sure you understand the circumstances you’re covered for. For instance, most policies don’t cover you for theft if your doors weren’t locked.
  5. Van Box
    There’s a wide range of van boxes available, so whatever the size of your van, or your tools, finding the right type of van box for your requirements is easy. New Van Vault boxes are usually tested and certified by Sold Secure and Secured by Design – the official police preferred specification. They often provide excellent accessibility and can be kept organised in drawer systems.

Managing director of safe.co.uk, Anthony Neary, commented: “The research demonstrates van theft is getting worse rather than better – and it’s a problem across the country.

“Many businesses rely on their van and tools, so when a break-in occurs, business as usual comes to a halt. This causes extra stress to tradespeople who have to work out the replacement of the vehicle, letting the customer down and not forgetting the extra cost of replacing the tools.  

“By following our advice, tradespeople can reduce the risk of being a victim of theft and hopefully feel at ease when they are not at work.”