When you are a sole trader using your van for work, and leaving tools in it overnight, the contents of your vehicle are at risk of theft.
It’s not always possible – or practical – to completely empty your van every night, so what can the trades do to protect against theft? Particularly when criminals employ the latest attack methods and technology to gain entry and steal your valuable tools.
Worryingly, a van is broken into every 23 minutes in the UK – catapulting the rate of tool theft up by over 30 per cent compared to last year. Police figures further estimate that this figure has rocketed by nearly two-thirds in two years. This crime is harming individuals and major fleet operators right across the country, with large cities in the north, Midlands and south appearing in the 10 most-targeted areas.
And it’s not just opportunist thieves that are responsible for these statistics – across the country hard-working tradespeople are losing out on thousands of pounds and their means to earn a living interrupted as sophisticated criminals select vans for the expensive tools inside. The average value of tools left in a UK tradesperson’s van is £2,881, and thieves have wised up to the value of various items and are actively targeting those that are worth more money. Insurance claims data backs up these worrying trends – from an overall increase in the number of thefts in the past few years, to a rise in the average value of the tools being stolen.
Last year, Locks 4 Vans began to see a rise in the ‘peel and steal’ tool theft technique – applying pressure to the side or rear load area van door with both knees, before ‘peeling’ the door down from the top and gaining access to the contents inside the vehicle.
Organised criminal gangs are now using electronic key fobs to illegally get into vehicles without leaving any sign of a forced entry too. It makes the perpetrators harder to catch, and insurance claims longer and more difficult to prove. Often referred to as the ‘relay’ method, it involves two thieves working in close proximity to the vehicle and its key – one will intercept the signal from the LCV’s key fob, while the other uses a replica fob to copy the signal and open the van door with it.
With criminals becoming increasingly clever at targeting the trades’ vans, it’s important that you take increased security measures to secure your vehicle and protect its contents. The first step should be to seek advice on the most secure and cost-effective solutions, which is where industry experts such as the likes of Locks 4 Vans can help.
Find out more about Locks 4 Vans by visiting them at Toolfair in Harrogate on 23rd and 24th May. Tickets are free to the trades at toolfair.info