Police across England have released warnings about the increased incidence of tool theft during the festive season. White vans, the hallmark of trade workers all over the UK, are thought to be especially at risk as Christmas approaches.
As a result, police have encouraged people to remove such belongings (and indeed any other valuables) from their vehicles overnight to better avoid these crimes taking place.
A late spike in tool theft
Statistics show that during the last quarter of the year, insurance claims for tools tend to spike. This is thought to be due to a number of different reasons. Firstly, the colder temperatures and longer nights mean that there is generally less of a presence (police or otherwise) on streets, while the prolonged darkness provides thieves with better anonymity for their nefarious schemes.
At the same time, many homeowners like to have upgrades to their homes or businesses tackled and out of the way by Christmas time. In particular, boilers which have not been used all summer tend to show signs of wear and tear once they are switched back on in the colder months, meaning that plumbers receive a lot of business towards the end of the year. This means that there are richer pickings for opportunistic hoodlums, since more white vans are prevalent on the streets at this time.
Finally, it’s also thought that thieves are fond of celebrating Christmas too, and so go into plunder overdrive to try and raise cash for presents as the year comes to a close.
Keep your tools under lock and key
Police departments across the UK have been reporting higher incidences of tool theft and have warned those in possession of them to take care in securing their valuables during winter. Already, Bedfordshire Police have received well over 100 cases of stolen tools since September, with Ford Transit vans being particular targeted. Thames Valley Police issued a similar warning:
“Vans are particularly at risk as they are being targeted by thieves looking to steal tools,” said a statement aimed at tool-owners in the Maidenhead and Windsor regions. “It’s important that drivers ensure that they keep their vehicles secure and that tools are not stored in vans overnight.”
Crucially, these vans can sometimes act as a magnet to unscrupulous bandits. With company names and logos emblazoned across their sides, they are a great way to advertise services… but also to advertise the presence of expensive tools to those who might wish to steal them.
Instead of leaving such items in vehicles overnight, trade workers and other tool owners would do well to bring them into their home or place of business to discourage vehicle break-ins.
Surveillance and alarms
Of course, it’s no good bringing tools into your household or office if that property is not properly secured. At Blackburn Alarms, we have a whole host of intruder alerts, CCTV cameras and access control systems to increase safety and give you peace of mind. To find out more about how we can help secure your home or workplace, get in touch with us today.