In the past year, tool theft has escalated by almost a third, with the Midlands and Yorkshire being prime areas.
Tradesmen throughout the UK say their tools are essential for their livelihood and that working without them would be impossible. This puts their business in jeopardy, with some even going bankrupt. It takes years to collect all the expensive tools required for joiners, plumbers and electricians, and losing them to criminals is abhorrent.
Thieves are using a new technique to break into vans called the “peel and steal” technique. CCTV has captured images of thieves using nothing but force to enter vans. By bracing their knees against vans with sliding doors, they can pull them open from the top using only their hands. It has been described as similar to opening a tin of sardines, and campaigners are trying to raise awareness to this increasing problem.
There are several ways the 98 per cent of tradesmen fearing tool theft can help to protect their livelihood. Remove tools from your van whenever possible, especially at night. Make sure you have a fully functioning alarm system fitted to your van. Fit extra locks; there are dead locks for vans http://www.vehicle-accessories.net/Security/Van-Locks/Deadlocks-Van-Locks that offer additional protection by adding an extra locking point to each door.
Try to park your vehicle in a well-lit street, preferably where there are CCTV cameras. If possible, park with your van doors up against a wall to make access more difficult. Register your tools with the Immobilise register; this will help identify them if stolen and later recovered by the police. Always have the contents of your van included on your vehicle insurance, but check the small print on your policy and make sure you comply with the insurer’s requirements.
Van manufacturers are working closely with police departments, reviewing their products to make sure they are safe and have up-to-date levels of protection. They are being kept informed of the latest techniques that criminals are using to gain access and are working tirelessly to make additional enhancements to their new vehicles to thwart these actions.
Crime is on the rise, so it’s essential to be more vigilant and more careful with your possessions. Always report anything suspicious to your local police station.