Tools stolen every 15 minutes, harrowing report finds

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

Tools were stolen every 15 minutes in 2022 across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, with a 13% increase from 2021’s figures to 35,098 in tool theft reported to police forces, Direct Line business insurance has found.

The analysis of police force data in 2022 from a Freedom of Information request discovered that over half (19,147 cases) of tool theft was specifically from a vehicle, making a tool theft occurring from a vehicle almost every half an hour in 2022, which equates to a 10% increase in incidents from the previous year.

Thefts reported to London’s Metropolitan Police represented 58% (20,2019) of all cases, and London also came out on top when the population density of the jurisdictions was considered.

Police forces with the highest levels of tool theft per resident – Direct Line business insurance, 2023:

Ranking Region
1 Metropolitan Police
2 West Yorkshire
3 City of London Police
4 Cleveland Police
5 Northumbria Police
6 South Yorkshire Police
7 Cambridgeshire Police
8 Hertfordshire
9 Bedfordshire Police
10 Derbyshire Constabulary


Alison Traboulsi, product manager at Direct Line business insurance, commented: “The rising frequency of tool theft up and down the country is alarming. Tool theft is hugely disruptive for hardworking tradespeople who rely on their tools for their livelihoods, so it’s vital that they do all they can to help protect themselves. We would encourage tradespeople to take steps to help secure their tools, such as parking their vehicle in a safe, well-lit location, fitting additional locks or installing an alarm system and forensically marking their tools.”

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