Tool theft from a vehicle has increased by 25% in the last year, accounting for a third of all tool thefts recorded in 2021 and 2022.
The Tool Theft in London 2022 report, collated by Herts Tools with a freedom of information request to the Metropolitan Police, revealed a 62% increase in tools stolen, with 34,712 instances in London alone from January 2021 to October 2022 compared to 21,445 from January 2019 to December 2020.
Furthermore, tradespeople are 10 times more likely to experience tool theft from a vehicle than they are from a building site or their place of work, with only 14% of cases leading to the suspect being identified. Just 0.3% of all cases between January 2021 and October 2022 ended in a charge for the suspect.
Stefano Lobban, director at Herts Tools, said: “It’s disappointing to see that the tool theft epidemic is getting worse in London, particularly from vehicles that now often have theft deterrents in place.
“It’s not surprising to see that high-price items such as powered hand tools are still the most sought-after by thieves. Amid the ongoing cost of living crisis, the trade for second hand (and potentially stolen) tools is booming, tempting more people into stealing tools.
“We’re urging those across all trades to double-check they have theft security measures in place, to avoid falling victim to crime.”
Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, added: “With eight in 10 builders reporting that they have had tools stolen before, tool theft is a serious issue for Britain’s tradespeople. It’s a shame that over a 40-year working life, tradespeople will typically lose £10,000 and six working days to tool theft. Aside from the detrimental financial impact, tool theft causes mental health issues and stress for builders.”
>>Find out ways to protect your van from thieves here.