Hundreds of tradespeople stage van tool theft rally

There’s been a rise in tool theft over the last year, and it seems tradespeople in the South West have finally had enough.

We’ve reported on how tool theft is affecting tradespeople up and down the country – we’ve even established where the UK’s tool theft hotspots are.

And the BBC reports that in March, Plymouth tradespeople decided to take matters into their own hands. More than 150 vans staged a protest, claiming that not enough is being done to tackle the problem.

A ‘sharp increase’ in Plymouth tool thefts

Devon and Cornwall Police have admitted that there’s been a ‘sharp increase’ in the number of tool thefts over the last year, with tens of thousands of pounds worth of tools being stolen from parked vans.

But tradespeople in the area claim that organised gangs are behind the thefts, and the force doesn’t have the resources to tackle the problem.

After discussion on a Facebook trades group, they were inspired to stage a rally. More than 150 tradespeople jumped in their vans and travelled from the A38 near Ivybridge, Devon, into Plymouth city centre.

Tradesman loses tools worth £3,000

Tradesman Ryan Cooper, who had recently had £3,000 worth of tools stolen, joined the rally. He told the BBC that he’s even chased offenders down the street in the past, after catching them breaking into his van.

So, what do the police say to do about it? Inspector Nick Lindsey offers advice to mark your tools: “offenders are accessing the rear doors of vans, often causing little or no damage. I want to urge people to consider marking their tools and equipment.”

The Home Office adds that they’re increasing police funding next year.

Is this enough?

Marking your tools is certainly a great step for preventing tool theft, but tradespeople are likely to want to see further action – like the introduction of five year minimum sentences for those convicted of tool theft.

Some of our own tips for tackling tool theft include:

  • Not leaving your tools in your van overnight
  • Being clever where you park your van, such as in a well-lit area
  • Checking you have the right insurance for your tools, so you can replace them quickly if they get stolen

Read more top tips for preventing tool theft and recovering them if they’re stolen.

Have you been a victim of tool theft? Let us know in the comments below.

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