According to research conducted by the BBC earlier in the year, a van is broken into and tools are stolen every 23 minutes in the UK. Instances of tool theft have risen by two thirds in 12 months.
This is something we know has already impacted some of our Trusted Traders and is the sort of crime that can destroy livelihoods.
Criminals are more commonly using locksmith skeleton keys to get into vehicles or using a technique called “peel and steal”. This is where brute force is used to peel the rear or side doors off a van simply by applying a person’s weight. Vehicle manufacturers are addressing this, but owners of older vans should consider any possible upgrades to vehicle security.
With the Christmas break approaching please be extra vigilant when it comes storing tools and equipment. Power tools and high value but easily transported equipment is most at risk.
Remember, most thefts are opportunistic. Protect yourself and remove any obvious opportunity.
- If a vehicle is to be left unattended for any length of time, if possible, remove anything of value.
- If you are unable to remove valuable tools or equipment from vehicles, ensure that any security devices or extra locks are functional and fully utilised.
- Park vehicles in a well-lit area and if possible reverse against a wall to stop access to your rear doors.
- Ensure any plant equipment is fully secured or immobilised.
- Mark up all your equipment with permanent visually identifiable markings, such as engraving.
- Ensure you have adequate insurance in place and it covers you for loss of tools and equipment.
- Have an up to date inventory of any valuable contents, back this up with photographic evidence.
- Mark up and register your equipment with www.immobilise.com, the UK national property register.
Immobilise helps Police identify the owners of any recovered property.
What to do if you are targeted
- Ensure the crime is reported immediately to the Police who will give you a crime reference number.
- Notify your insurance company as soon as you have the crime reference number.
- You will need to get replacement tools and equipment as soon as possible. Any documentary and photographic evidence of your tools and equipment will help in the speed of your insurance claim.
- If your valuables are on the immobilise.com database, then the Police can access and compare against items that have been found or recovered from suspected criminals.
Be proactive and take the time to review your vehicle, tools, equipment and plant security now. The same advice goes for all your property and belongings.
If you require any help, advice or additional commercial or residential security, we have a number of Trusted Trader security equipment suppliers who would be happy to help. Security Equipment Installers