Record-high tool theft from vans

Car crime vehicle theft

In the past year, tool theft has increased dramatically, affecting over one-third of van drivers — a 25% increase from the previous year, according to a Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles research.

Since each van’s equipment is typically valued at £2,500, UK tradespeople are responsible for paying £4.4 billion in annual tool replacement costs.

Furthermore, the study discovered that the average time lost to work due to tool theft is six days, resulting in a whopping £5.2 billion in losses for UK enterprises each year.

More opportunities have been created for burglars by the rise of van drivers who admit to leaving tools in their cars overnight (75 percent versus less than half in 2020). Furthermore, just 50% of van drivers use additional security measures including locks, alarms, and vehicle trackers.

The UK’s largest tool theft hotspot is still London, although the percentage of van drivers who steal tools has dropped from 55% to 47% this year. In comparison, the North West (41%) and the North East (40%) have seen significant increases in tool theft over the past year, as has Scotland (45%). The region where van drivers are least likely to have a break-in is the South East.

Percentage of van drivers with tools or equipment stolen in the past year
Region 2021/22 2020/21
London 47% 55%
Scotland 45% 22%
North West 41% 25%
North East 40% 28%
Yorkshire and the Humber 38% 7%
Wales 36% 4%
West Midlands 36% 33%
Northern Ireland 35% 13%
East Anglia 33% 23%
East Midlands 32% 15%
South West 32% 10%
South East 28% 17%

“We’re shocked to see that cases have risen so much in the past year, as we know the impact on businesses and workers is massive,” said David Hanna, Head of Direct Sales at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

“Hopefully, these findings will prompt those with expensive equipment to take extra precautions, whether that’s additional security features on their vans, avoiding parking in secluded, poorly-lit areas, or taking an extra 15 minutes at the end of the day to unload their vans.”

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