The rate at which tools are being stolen from British workers is at an all-time high.
According to the latest data, the majority of these thefts are from vehicles such as vans.
The study by Direct Line found that a tool has been stolen from a worker every 17 minutes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland since March 2021, according to new analysis of police force data.
In total, 31,161 tools were stolen, the majority of which (17,370) were taken by thieves breaking into vehicles.
This is an increase over pre-pandemic levels. In the 2019 calendar year 28,681 cases of tool theft were reported, the equivalent of one stolen every 20 minutes.
With the average value of a stolen tool costing £385, there has been £80 million worth of equipment taken over the last year.
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The study has also revealed the areas in which you’re most at risk from tool theft.
While thefts from London represented 62% of all incidents (19,351), Northumbria came out on top when population density was considered.
In third place was the South West, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber and the east Midlands.
Making up the rest of the top 10 crime hot spots were the North East, the North West, the East of England, the South East and lastly Northern Ireland.
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Alison Traboulsi, product manager at Direct Line business insurance said: “At a time when people are facing serious cost of living challenges, heartless criminals are taking away the livelihoods of hardworking tradespeople.
“It is not just the value of the tools stolen, theft can cause big delays on site, causing huge additional costs and causing serious scheduling headaches.
“We urge those considering purchasing second-hand tools to question the provenance to limit opportunities for criminals to dispose of stolen goods.