Sector - Commercial

Nine in ten tradespeople victims of theft

Tradespeople are being warned to step up security as a crime wave sweeps through construction sites in the UK.

New research from commercial insurer NFU Mutual reveals almost nine in ten (89%) tradespeople have experienced theft and crime, with specialists warning that the world events, including the conflict in Ukraine, is driving up demand for stolen goods.

NFU Mutual is warning people not to be complacent as its study finds over three quarters (78%) of tradespeople and contractors admit they have left machinery and tools in a vehicle overnight. Vans are a key target for criminals, with nearly six in ten experiencing theft from their vehicle (58%). While over half (55%) have experienced theft of their items from a building site, as 83% say they have left portable tools and equipment on site overnight.

Tradespeople say the main impacts of these thefts include loss of income (55%) and extra costs to replace or hire new kit (43%), and worryingly over a third reveal theft has an impact on their mental health (34%).

Despite this, the study found an alarming number (43%) of tradespeople don’t have a full list or know the value of what they own which could make it difficult to report crimes to the police or track recovered items back to their owners.

Zoe Knight, Commercial Specialist at NFU Mutual, said: “In the current climate as supply is low and demand for stolen equipment is high we are urging people to step up security.

“Tradespeople rely on their tools for their income and to keep the chain of a project on schedule. As our report findings show, the theft of equipment can have a devastating impact, professionally, financially and mentally.

“It is crucial that tradespersons are fully supported should the worst happen. The cost of replacing kit and machinery has increased significantly due to supply chain issues in recent times. We are advising tradespeople to know what they own by recording serial numbers and keeping up to date with current market values.”


Image copyright – NFU Mutual


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