Toolstation, a national tool supplier, submitted Freedom of Information requests to all police forces across the country in order to calculate tool thefts hotspots in 2020.
What do the numbers say?
The responses from police revealed that Lancashire had the third heighest number of tool thefts in 2020, with 1,108 reported cases.
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Toolstation calculated that this equalled an estimated loss of £1,650,868.
The only places with more tool thefts that year were Northumbria with 1,398 cases (a loss of £2,082,954) and Kent with 1138 (£1,695,567.)
Making up the rest of the top 10 were Hertfordshire (1,048), Northern Ireland (1,043), Humberside (755), Cambridgeshire (685), Bedfordshire (647), Avon and Somerset (587) and Dorset (417).
What have Lancashire Police said?
A Lancashire Police spokesperson said: “We urge anyone who carries tools in their vehicle to take them indoors and store them safely.
“Many insurance policies do not cover tools left in the van and it could cost hundreds in damage and excesses.
“Lock tools and small items of machinery in a secure building where possible and avoid leaving tools and accessories outside.
“Store machinery away from public roads and record the make and serial number of tools – ideally mark or stamp property with your postcode.”
What does an expert tradesperson say?
Toolstation spoke to Lee Devlin, MD at Homecure Plumbers, who advised:
-Never leave your tools in your vehicle overnight. Where possible, store them in a locked premises/site unit or your home.
-Invest in a sticker that says ‘tools are not left in here’.
-When parking up, ensure your vehicles’ rear doors are facing an obstacle, with a maximum gap of 1ft, preventing thieves from opening doors sufficiently enough to get into.
-Park your van in a locked garage.
-Check your vehicles alarm regularly.
-Have an immobiliser fitted to your vehicle to prevent thieves from simply ‘hotwiring’ it.
-Use a good quality lock/padlock on rear doors.
-Stop thieves from looking in and reduce sight lines by using blackout tints, films and partitions.
-Keep tool bags and boxes close on public transport.
-Ask employers and professional bodies for advice as new security devices and features are regularly being released.
-Take out adequate insurance for both your vehicle and tools.