How to Tackle the Rise in Tool Theft – DGCOS' Top Tips for Tradesmen

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How to Tackle the Rise in Tool Theft – DGCOS' Top Tips for Tradesmen

From having flexible working schedules to playing pranks on-site, sometimes you think there is no better job than that of a tradesman. You can make a substantial amount of money, have fun and clock off early all on the same day. But, despite all the positives, unfortunately, there are also plenty of negatives affecting tradesmen today.

In our three-part blog series, we are highlighting the areas of concern and how tradesmen can avoid, or at least mitigate the impact of, these issues. Today, we’re honing in on tool theft.

There is a year on year rise in tool theft:

Statistics show that a van is broken into every 23 minutes.[1] Tool theft claims within the trade industry have cost over a staggering £2.8 million, with the average value claim being around £1,626.[1]

In 2014/15 there had been 14,063 thefts reported from vans which vastly increased to 23,859 in 2017/18, according to research by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles via a Freedom of Information request (Freedom of Information request, August 2018. 34 of 47 police forces across the UK responded). This is a shocking 69.66% increase in just three years.

The statistics above may come as no surprise to tradesmen, especially if you have experienced tool theft yourself or know those that have. Instead, we advise you to see the above information as a powerful reminder that tool theft is happening, and it is on the rise.

With tools being a substantial investment and imperative to carry out your work it is important to take some steps to protect them.

What do we recommend?

Make security your priority:

Improve your locks, fit an additional, more advanced alarm and make sure you unload the tools from your van every single night. You could even install tinted windows and add a ‘no tools are stored in this vehicle’ sticker on your van as additional security measures.

Take a look at Screwfix to see what van security accessories are available. They have a wide range of products and are a great place to start.

Tool insurance:

Your tools are essential to your work so insuring them is arguably one of the most important types of insurance you should get. Therefore, if you, unfortunately, find yourself victim to tool theft, your tools are covered. A good place to start when looking for tool insurance is GoCompare, just insert all of the information required and you will receive many different tool insurance quotes to sift through. Make sure you look into them properly to find out which is best suited to you, we all want to save money but with insurance, it’s not always the best idea to go cheap.

Remember to keep your insurance up to date, too. You will have to renew this every year. Most insurers will send you an electronic reminder for this but it’s best to keep a note for yourself somewhere too.

Perfect your parking:

And no, we don’t mean parallel. If it is possible, always park where there is CCTV, if not, park in sight of others as this will likely scare off any thieves. You should also always try to park smart to prevent easy accessibility into your van e.g. with your back or side doors close to a wall, making them harder to open.

[1] https://phpionline.co.uk/feature-articles/online-exclusive-severe-van-tool-theft-uk/


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