Thief attempting to break into vehicle

New petition aims to tackle tool theft

More than £46 million worth of tools have been reported stolen from vans since the easing of lockdown in April 2021, according to research from Direct Line. And Fix Radio, a station dedicated to tradespeople, has launched an online petition to help combat the issue.

The petition to the government asks for a parliamentary committee to be created to bring together police, politicians, van and tool manufacturers, insurance providers and society leaders to discuss the issue of tool theft and propose solutions.

Tool theft affects the livelihood and mental health of tradespeople, who, in 59 per cent of cases, don’t have tool insurance and find themselves out of work for days. On average, Direct Line estimates it takes a tradesperson a full working week to replace their tools after they’ve been stolen.

London was the biggest hotspot for tool thieves, with 12,769 reported cases of tool theft from vehicles were recorded in the capital since the easing of lockdown in April, followed by West Yorkshire (400 cases), Northumbria (233 cases) and Kent (217 cases). The research estimates that £245,000 worth of tools are stolen every day, and just 1 per cent are recovered.

Clive Holland, host of the Clive Holland Show on Fix Radio, says: “Despite the size of the problem or its impact on tradespeople everywhere, nothing is being done to combat the tool theft epidemic sweeping the country. Police are overwhelmed, politicians don’t care, and better security features on vans or tools isn’t a priority with manufacturers.

“Tool theft is not a victimless crime – it attacks the livelihoods of the UK’s 2 million tradespeople. It means work is lost, earnings disrupted and plunges many tradespeople into debt just to replace tools just so they can go back to work.”

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