Theft awareness for tradesmen

Theft Awareness for Trades

Crime in the UK is on the rise, particularly when it comes to theft. Work vans are often a target for thieves, containing high-value items that can be easily accessed if not properly secured. Certain areas in the UK have become more notorious for theft, with London, Sheffield, and Birmingham securing the top spots.

Over 70 per cent of workers are worried about the prospect of becoming a victim of theft, and for good reason. Half of the victims of tool theft are left unable to carry out their duties the next day as a result of the crime. Some thefts can even leave victims unable to work for up to two weeks after they have been stolen from. The detrimental effect that can be experienced by tradesmen as a result of tool theft is huge. Loss of earnings, and having to replace your tools, can leave you in a struggling position. Therefore, it is important as a tradesperson to be aware of theft and take all possible precautions to prevent it.

How are vans vulnerable to theft?

Criminals are now thinking of new ways to target work vans and gain access to their contents. Door peeling is a new way that thieves attempt to gain access to the interior of a van. As manufacturers are now using thinner sheet materials on the sides of vans to improve their fuel efficiency, criminals have seen this as a potential point of access. Another popular modern way for criminals to gain access to work vans is through the method of key fob hacking, a practice involving hacking the remote locking system. In addition to these new methods of gaining entry, attempts are still made to gain access through doors and windows. With all of this information, it can feel like thieves will gain entry to your van no matter what, but there are certain things you can do to help prevent this. Always remember that thieves target vehicles and properties that are easily accessible, so creating a challenge for them can put them off.

How to prevent tool theft: keeping your van secure

Tool theft is something you need to take seriously to avoid any serious impacts on your business. By following tips to keep your tools secure, you are less likely to become a victim of this type of crime. With the rise of door peeling, many van owners are finding ways to fight back. Door peeling should always be taken seriously, but clever parking is a useful solution. Clever parking means avoiding leaving any vulnerable entry points exposed to criminals. For example, parking close to a wall that blocks access to your side door, back doors, and any thin panelling will make the van more difficult to access. Try to leave as little of the van exposed as possible if you have to park in a public area overnight.

In a recent Evening Standard article discussing car and van theft, GPS trackers were seen as a solution to get your vehicle back if it is stolen. It isn’t only valuable tools that tradespeople need to worry about, the van itself is often more valuable. Having a tracking system installed means you’ll be able to give the police the exact location of the van if it’s stolen.

It can be difficult to get your tools back if they’re stolen. Many criminals steal tools to sell on, and they often do this fairly quickly. Locating your tools can be difficult, even if you see something that you believe is yours on a selling site, you can’t always be sure. Business Insider suggests marking your tools with paint or pen to identify them. If you want to mark your tools in a less obvious way with something that’s difficult to remove, an ultraviolet pen can be a good solution.

Ensure you insure

Insurance is a legal requirement for a work van, but this doesn’t stop van owners from trying to cut corners to get a cheaper deal. It’s important that you give accurate information to your insurance company to avoid any complications if you are the victim of a theft. Always divulge the correct value of the van and any contents when taking out a policy. Although this may increase your premium, it will mean you’ll get everything back if you do become a target of theft.

About Dylan Garton

Dylan Garton is a co-founder, video producer and editor for the Skill Builder social media platforms.

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