Latest police data shows that £17.5m of tools were stolen in London last year

Almost £57,000 of tools were stolen every day in 2020, according to data from the Metropolitan Police.

The 2020 total of £17.5m was down 15% on the £20.7m worth of tools stolen in the capital in 2019. It might be reasonable to attribute this to Covid and the consequent reduction in activity.

There were 28,338 tool thefts reported across London between January 2019 and May 2021. That’s about 32 incidents a day.

It appears that thieves are 10 times more likely to steal powered hand tools than non-powered hand tools, with 32,067 taken from 2019 to 2021, compared to 2,993 non-powered hand tools. 1,942 garden tools were stolen in the same period across the capital.

Top 5 tips for preventing tool theft

  • Park against a wall – Aim to park with sliding or rear doors against a wall or sturdy fence so it’s difficult for them to be opened. You should park in busy, well-lit areas, and preferably in view of a CCTV camera.
  • Remove tools overnight – Nowadays, a lot of break ins can be from ‘peel and steal’ and electronic key fobs, so even well-secured vans are at risk. If you can, remove tools from your vehicle overnight to completely reduce the risk of losing them, even if an attempt is made.
  • Mark your tools – Having identification marks on your tools (e.g. from paint or permanent marker) makes it difficult for stolen tools to be sold on. It also helps to recognise you as the owner if they’re recovered.
  • Record serial numbers – Make a note of serial numbers, as well as the make and model of tools you own. Providing this to police in the event of them being stolen will help to identify your tools if they’re found, as well as easing the process of making an insurance claim.
  • Make sure you’re insured – Replacing your tools is likely to be expensive. Having insurance in place, whether standalone tools insurance, or as part of your business insurance policy, will help to support you with the sudden financial shock of tool theft. Check your policy and if you don’t already have tools insurance included, consider adding it on. You should also check your policy wording to find out exactly what’s covered, what the limits and excesses are, and if there’s any exceptions to be aware of.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding insurance for your tools, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.