Tools were stolen every 15 minutes last year, analysts at Direct Line for Business, who have reviewed police force data. In 2022, police forces across England, Wales and Northern Ireland recorded more than 35,000 cases of tool theft, which rose by 13% from the previous year.
More than half (55%) of all tool theft cases were from a vehicle in 2022 (19,147 cases), which equates to an occurrence every 27 minutes, the new analysis has also revealed. This is a 10% increase from the previous year.
Additional research from Direct Line suggests that the average value of stolen tools from tradespeople’s vehicles was £3,425. Thefts reported to London’s Metropolitan Police represented 58% of all cases.
“The rising frequency of tool theft up and down the country is alarming,” said Alison Traboulsi, Direct Line business insurance’s product manager. “Our research shows that over half of all tool thefts occurred from a vehicle, highlighting the importance of keeping tools secure, as well as having the correct insurance in place if theft does occur.
“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.
“At Direct Line, we know the impact of tool theft can be devastating and we’re committed to giving tradespeople the protection they need to enable them to do what they do best. We offer flexible insurance cover options allowing tradespeople to build a policy which covers their specific insurance needs, whether that’s cover for during the day at work or tools locked in a vehicle overnight.”