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Half of builders fall victim to tool theft

Half of builders fall victim to tool theft

1 November 2018 Email this article

Tool theft is plaguing the construction industry with more than half of builders (51%) in the UK having had their tools stolen, according to new research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Of those builders that have been victim to van tool theft:

·       46% had their side panel or door broken/pierced and prised open

·       23% had their windows smashed and doors opened from dashboard

·       22% had their locks picked

·       And in order to prevent such crimes taking place, builders are using many different preventative measures, including:

·       Bringing their tools inside at night (19%)

·       Installing extra locks in the van (19%)

·       Parking against a wall (18%)

·       Marking tools with an address, phone number or painting them a special colour (9%);

·       Parking in an area not visible from the road (9%)

·       Installing safes in their vans (7%)

·       Installing CCTV and advertise its use (7%)

·       Installing extra alarm systems in the van (7%)

·       Registering serial numbers of tools on an online database (7%)

Commenting on the research, Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “More than half of builders in the UK have fallen foul of tool theft with concerns growing over a crime wave wreaking havoc across the construction industry.

“The impact of this on the nation’s smaller building firms is particularly disruptive. Not only is there a high cost in time and money to replace these expensive tools, and to fix the damage caused, but without the right tools, firms are simply unable to work. This is leading construction firms vulnerable at a time when other factors, such as skills shortages and material prices rises, are already causing the sector a headache.”

Andrew Radford, of Radford Construction, had thousands of pounds worth of tools, PPE and a wallet stolen when a company van was broken into. Discussing the theft, Radford said: “Losing the tools was a huge blow because it delayed work on site while we replaced them. We also had to spend a lot of time contacting our insurance company, the police and cancelling the cards. Also, because our builders’ merchants’ details were in the van, we had to set up passwords to make sure it was only company colleagues who could obtain goods on our account.”