White van man faces theft risk every 20 minutes

Tools are stolen from a tradesperson’s vehicle every 20 minutes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, according to new research from Direct Line – Business. There were an alarming 28,681 cases of tool theft from vehicles, equating to 78 incidents every day last year.

Based on an analysis of data from police forces across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the findings revealed that nearly a third were reported in London followed by the North West (27 per cent) and Yorkshire and Humberside (12 per cent).

When considering population density, the North West had the most accounts of tool theft per resident, with Lancashire Constabulary reporting the highest levels of thefts in the region – an alarming 4,440 in one year.

Nandita Borkakoti, Product Manager at Direct Line – Business, said the research demonstrated “the shocking frequency” of tool theft from vehicles.

“Tool theft is hugely disruptive and often results in tradespeople missing out on jobs. It’s vital they do all they can to protect themselves,” she said. “Making sure their vehicles are secured, they’re diligent with locking away tools when unsupervised and that they have the appropriate insurance in place.”

Direct Line revealed the findings to promote their Tools Essentials insurance offering which pledges to replace stolen tools within 24 hours, whether stolen from a locked vehicle, a secured garage, home or lock-up.

Their general advice begins by urging clients to choosing the right van at the outset.

While no van is 100 per cent secure, they say, standards in the industry are rising fast, helped by initiatives such as the Association of British Insurers’ (ABI) Group Rating system, administered by Thatcham, the industry’s research institute.