Tool theft hotspots revealed: thieves most active in South East, as 78% of tradespeople fall victim across the UK

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  Posted by: electime      24th November 2022

New data from small business insurance provider Simply Business and online construction community On The Tools has identified the UK’s tool theft hotspots amid a growing tool theft epidemic.

The survey of over 2,000 tradespeople from across the UK reveals that South East England has the highest rate of tool theft, with almost one in five (18%) tool theft incidents happeningin this region.

Coming in at close second, with just under a fifth (17%) of tradespeople reporting having their tools stolen in the area, is London. This is followed by the West Midlands where one in ten (11%) tool thefts take place. Data also shows that tools in Northern Ireland are the least likely to be stolen, with less than 2% of tradespeople reporting thefts.

Tool theft set to spike

The small business insurance provider is issuing a warning to tradespeople working around the country as the figures reveal that the winter months – with less daylight hours – see a noticeable uptick in the amount of tool thefts, reaching a peak in November.

What’s more, over half (58%) of tradespeople believe that a rise in tool theft is inevitable due to the cost of living crisis. Tool theft is already having a significant impact on tradespeople across the UK, with a staggering four in five (78%) being directly affected by the crime – totalling an estimated £2.8bn worth of tools stolen across the UK.

This is why Simply Business have launched a competition to give away 10x van security packages worth up to £2,000.

Almost two fifths (38%) of tradespeople report having their tools stolen from their van outside their home, and a quarter (27%) say they have had their tools stolen from the building site that they were working at.

Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, commented “We’ve seen the profound impact of tool theft first-hand, costing tradespeople £4,470 on average. Those on the receiving end are often forced to take time off work, and the financial hit and longer term repercussions on future business.

“Tradespeople, like so many other business owners across the country, continue to battle rising costs, surging energy prices, and material shortages, all while continuing their recovery from the impact of the pandemic.

“That’s why we’ve re-launched our campaign to Stamp Out Tool Theft. We hope that by shining a light on the scale and depth of the problem, revealing the true stories of those affected, and offering practical support for the community, we can contribute positively to change.”

Lee Wilcox, CEO of On The Tools, added: “Tool theft is crippling our industry. It’s an issue that impacts an immense proportion of UK tradespeople and can no longer be ignored.

“The Tradespeople Against Tool Theft white paper was created to reveal the widespread consequences of this crime, from the financial impacts to the emotional consequences and more.

“I am hopeful that by distributing this white paper to all corners of the construction industry and beyond, we can encourage the issue to be taken as seriously as it should be, improving the situation for UK tradespeople once and for all. I would also like to thank the industry sponsors and supporters of this research for your invaluable contributions.”

Learn more about the Stamp Out Tool Theft campaign here:

Simply Business is giving away 10x van security overhauls worth up to £2,000 – find out more and enter here