More than half of UK builders have had their tools stolen from their vans, according to new research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
More than half (51%) of UK builders report that they have had their tools stolen, with most saying that their van’s side panel or door was broken, pierced or prised open. Other common ways of breaking into their vans were having their windows smashed and doors opened from the dashboard and 22% had their locks picked.
The most common preventative measures builders take in order to limit tool theft include:
- 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 , Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said, “Tools are being stolen from vans, and direct from construction sites, with some builders even being assaulted by would-be thieves. Not only is there a high cost in terms of both time and money spent replacing these expensive tools, and to fix the damage caused, but without the right tools, firms are simply unable to work. This is leaving construction firms vulnerable at a time when other factors, such as skills shortages and material price 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. He 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 merchant’s 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.”