More than £46 million worth of tools have been reported as stolen from vehicles in the UK since the easing of lockdown in April 2021.
This equates to £245,893 stolen every day, according to an analysis of data from UK police forces by Direct Line business insurance.
Tradespeople are bearing the brunt, with nearly four in 10 (38 per cent) having fallen victim to tool theft in the past, separate research by the insurer revealed.
On average, it is estimated that it would take them a full working week (4.9 days) to replace the equipment, potentially preventing them from carrying out jobs and hitting them hard in the pocket.
Despite the threat, over half of tradespeople (56 per cent) leave tools in a vehicle overnight, with nearly six in ten of this group (59 per cent) not even having specific insurance in place to help deal with the consequences of tool theft.
This is despite nearly a third (31 per cent) of tradespeople being more concerned about the problem now, than they were before the pandemic, which suggests that awareness isn’t always translating into action.
Tool theft is a risk for tradespeople all over the UK, but London is a is the worst recorded area.
12,769 reported cases of tool theft from vehicles were recorded in London since the easing of lockdown in April.
This was followed by West Yorkshire (400 cases), Northumbria (233 cases) and Kent (217 cases).
Promisingly, some tradespeople are implementing measures to protect their tools and livelihoods from thieves. These included:
- Keeping tools in a property/garage overnight (30 per cent)
- Keeping tools out of sight when they are stored (28 per cent)
- Fitting an alarm on their vehicle (25 per cent)
- Installing Van CCTV or dash cam (22 per cent)
- Parking their vans in a safe and sensible space to deter potential thieves (21 per cent)