Half of builders are victims of tool theft

Tool theft is plaguing the construction industry with more than half of builders in the UK having had their tools stolen, according to new research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

More than half of UK builders have had tools stolen. Of those that have been victim to van tool theft: 46% had their side panel or door broken/pierced and prised open; 23% had their windows smashed and doors opened from dashboard; and 22% had their locks picked.

The FMB has published a list of preventative measures, which many builders claim to use, including: bringing tools inside at night, installing extra locks in the van; parking against a wall; marking tools with an address, phone number or painting them a special colour; parking in an area not visible from the road; installing safes in their vans; installing CCTV and advertising its use; installing extra alarm systems in the van; and registering serial numbers of tools on an online database.

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. The impact of this on the nation’s smaller building firms is particularly disruptive. 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 leading construction firms vulnerable at a time when other factors, such as skills shortages and material price rises, are already causing the sector a headache.”