Tool theft from vans becomes an ‘epidemic’

SpannersEvery tradesman knows that ‘you need the right tools for the job’ and if they are stolen your business will quickly grind to a halt. Unfortunately, tools make tempting targets to thieves: not only are they expensive, but they’re easy to carry and easy to sell on. Research has revealed that 98% of tradesmen are concerned about having their tools stolen, and with rising crime figures it looks like their worries are well-placed.One leading insurer has been crunching their claims data and found the number of claims for stolen tools has jumped by 30% in the past year. Not only are more tradesmen making claims, but the value of claims has also soared by 40% with average pay-outs now over £1,500.

Police figures gathered by the BBC indicate that the problem is much worse. Having requested reports from all 45 police forces, 30 responded and found an increase of over 60% in tool thefts over the past year. Today it’s estimated that a van is broken into and tools stolen every 23 minutes. Tradesman are facing tough times and insurance for tools is now a business basic.

Digging into the claims data you won’t be surprised to read that London was the most targeted city, but you might be surprised that the Midlands and Yorkshire weren’t far behind (with hotspots including: Sheffield, Northampton and Leicester). More surprising still is the fact that most thefts took place during the working week (rather than at the weekend) with Thursday being the busiest time for thieves.

Tool theft robs tradesmen of more than just time and money, and you can help keep your livelihood secure by taking the following tips:

Empty your van: The idea of taking your tools inside at the end of a hard day might not appeal, but thieves will have a tricky time getting their hands on them if they are locked-up indoors.

Secure your van: Most thieves are opportunists and by improving your vehicle security they are likely to look elsewhere. Off street parking, security lighting and alarms are all proven deterrents, but don’t forget to secure your tools inside your vehicle. Statistics show that thieves are more likely to grab toolboxes, so it makes sense to chain them to the floor.

Mark your tools: Marking your tools will put thieves off and mean you’re more likely to get them back. Use a permanent marker and choose somewhere where your name and telephone number won’t get rubbed off.

Register your tools: The National Property Register is free to use and will greatly increase the chances of your tools being returned if they are lost or stolen. Find out more by visiting

Get insurance for tools: Make sure that your tools, materials and equipment are covered around the clock. Find out more about: tools insurance and tools in transit insurance.



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