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January revealed as the worst month for tool theft with tools stolen once every 30 minutes

2-minute read

Lucy McNeill

14 January 2020

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Tradespeople beware – data shows January is the worst month for tool theft in London, with tools being stolen once every 30 minutes.

The numbers, obtained by Simply Business via the Met Police, show that 16,725 tool thefts were reported during the period between July 2018 and June 2019.

This works out at an average of 45 thefts a day, or one every 30 minutes.

The worst months for tool theft

The full month-by-month breakdown shows that 1,569 tool thefts were reported in January 2019 – almost 400 more than in December 2018.

MonthNumber of tool thefts
January 20191,569
October 20181,535
November 20181,506
September 20181,456
March 20191,454
May 20191,425
July 20181,412
February 20191,355
August 20181,333
June 20191,299
April 20191,194
December 20181,187

The top 10 worst London boroughs for tool theft

The analysis also shows that Barnet is the worst affected area, with 1,281 thefts reported, closely followed by Enfield (1,019) and Waltham Forest (771).

In stark contrast, the safest borough, Kensington and Chelsea, saw just 146 tool thefts throughout the year.

  • Barnet - 1,281
  • Enfield - 1,019
  • Waltham Forest - 771
  • Bromley - 757
  • Haringey - 708
  • Hillingdon - 663
  • Brent - 660
  • Ealing - 650
  • Greenwich - 639
  • Newham - 627

An ‘ongoing tool theft epidemic'

As previously reported by Simply Business, a staggering one in 3 tradespeople have fallen victim to tool theft. For each tradesperson impacted, that works out at an average cost of £3,005 in lost earnings and the replacement of stolen tools.

And with 84 per cent of tradespeople believing that the government aren’t doing enough to tackle the issue, we launched our campaign to Stamp Out Tool Theft.

The campaign – which petitioned to see the tool theft issue debated in parliament – was stopped in its tracks, as the government closed our petition with less than 24 hours notice in November 2019.

Preventing tool theft

Although these numbers are concerning, there are a few key steps you can take to help prevent your tools from being stolen.

Check out our eight-step guide to recovering stolen tools, which includes some helpful tips on preventing thieves from getting their hands on your goods.

How has tool theft affected you and your business? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Are you protecting your tools?

As the UK's biggest business insurance provider, we know the importance of covering your tools. Why not take a look now and build a quick, tailored tool insurance quote?

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We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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