Theft awareness for tradespeople

If you are a tradesperson, you know how important it is to keep your tools and work equipment in your van safe. Getting your items stolen can derail your business and have major repercussions. Besides relying on proper strategies to run efficiently, your business also requires proper security measures to be implemented.

Vans in the UK are often targeted by thieves who steal the valuables inside. Such thieves know that vans owned by tradespeople store and transport expensive equipment, and that’s why they become such a major target. When someone steals your valuable business equipment, he or she exposes you to many problems.


UK van theft stats

Statistics show that the UK’s tradespeople encountered losses of close to £100 million due to tool theft in 2016. Your workers rely on these tools to go about their daily activities. When the tools are stolen, your workers will miss work, which translates to a significant reduction in your profits. Findings from the 2016 report also indicate that some tradespeople encountered losses of more than £14,000 after one van break-in.

What’s more, 71% of workers claimed that they suffered from anxiety or felt stressed after a theft occurred. In fact, 50% of tradespeople failed to show up for work the next day after a theft incident, and some had to take up to two weeks off. Failing to work the next day costs 50% of tradespeople no less than £500.

A van break-in also affects a business’ current customers and could also result in significant damage to property. Even more troubling is the fact that theft cases seem to increase every year. In 2017, for instance, there were 22,749 van thefts, and it took approximately 23 minutes for the thieves to break into a van and get away with the valuable tools and work equipment.


Tactics criminals use to steal from vans

Criminals use various tactics to steal from vans. By identifying some of these methods, you can put the proper measures in place to avoid or minimise theft incidents. Although there are thieves who use forceful methods, others rely on modernised and sophisticated tactics.

Some of the modernised theft tactics include:

Door peeling

Most van manufacturers design vans with front-door sensors but fail to install them on the other doors. That means that these doors can be peeled back without alerting you. Thieves who prefer this tactic don’t even need sophisticated tools to carry this out.

Key-fob hacking

Van keys come with radio signals that help you to lock and unlock your van from a distance. Sadly, there are technologies that allow thieves to intercept and replicate these signals, thus enabling them to gain access to your van using a scanner.


Tips to keep your van and the tools inside secure

Here are some useful tips to mitigate losses from theft.

Do not leave your van unlocked

Sometimes, van users leave their vans unlocked to attend to an urgent errand. Such a habit is ill-advised and costly in the long-run. You always need to lock your van, regardless of how long you’ll be away.

Enhance the security locks

Vans usually come with standard locks that might not be an effective security measure against theft. This makes it essential to find alternative methods that will help upgrade your van security locks. If your van has enhanced locks, it’s obviously harder for thieves to gain access to your van.

Mark your tools with a UV pen

Alternatively, you can mark all your work equipment with a UV pen. Such pens give your tools unique markings that make it easier to track stolen equipment. The markings are not visible to the naked eye, but can be seen when exposed to UV light.

Keep the windows closed

You should always leave your windows closed whenever you are not in the van. It may sound obvious, but details like these can make a big difference.


Written  by : Jessica Kelly
Digital Content & Media Planning