Research reveals the latest tools and materials theft figures

Credit: AdobeStock / von Lieres
Credit: AdobeStock / von Lieres

Research by Help me Fix has revealed that on average 81 tradesmen per day have tools stolen, incurring a daily loss of £137,438.

Over the last two years, almost 59,000 accounts of tool theft were reported across the UK, with the value of the items stolen totalling over £100 million.

Help me Fix put together some top tips to prevent tool theft:

  • Storing items correctly, such as taking items home from work and displaying a sign that states no tools are left in your vehicle overnight.
  • Prevention parking, like parking with rear or side doors tight to a sturdy fence or wall, parking in busy public areas during the day, well-lit locations at night or parking in an area with visible CCTV cameras.
  • Having an identifying mark on your tools in the event that they are recovered.
  • Joining a register such as Immobilise or SelectDNA which could help return your tools wherever they end up across the UK.
  • Record all the serial numbers of the tools you purchase.
  • Track items with GPS tracking systems. Smaller, portable GPS trackers can be fitted to smaller items.
  • Getting insured, always keep receipts and photos of each tool as this will massively streamline the process of an insurance claim.

More research also found that Sheffield and Preston are the cities with the most building material thefts, each with 482 reported crimes since 2017.

Roofing Megastore found that northern areas of the UK reported the highest numbers of copper and lead thefts, with Lancashire Constabulary ranking in first position with 2,712 reported crimes during the years 2017 – 2022.

Overall, copper and lead theft reports in 2021 from the 28 police forces totalled 1,667 – down almost 37% from 2020’s total (2,277 reported thefts).

View the full list of the towns, cities and police force areas which have experienced the most lead and copper thefts here.

Gian-Carlo Grossi, managing director at Roofing Megastore, commented: “The first step when you discover you’ve been robbed is always to report it to the police, either by phone or online. Following this, you’ll need to determine what impact the missing lead may have on your property.

“For example, missing lead, particularly if located at an abutment to a wall, could quickly result in water ingress. If left unfixed, this could cost damage that can easily cost thousands of pounds to put right, and may also cause structural issues over time.”

>>Read more about how to prevent tool theft here.