Unfortunately there has been a spike in tool theft in England; this includes the Thames Valley Area. This upsetting crime can have a devastating effect on business not only in lost time and revenue on the work you are doing but also in the outlay for new tools and the associated time loss to source them. Often criminals are opportunists and will take advantage if they see an easy steal.
Prevention is better than cure. Here are a few tips to help prevent you becoming a victim of this unfortunate crime:
Store your tools sensibly - The harder your tools are to get to, the less likely thieves are to make off with them. It's best to take your tools in from your van overnight; it may be the last thing you want to do after a day's work but losing your tools would be worse.
Park for prevention - If you can't bring your tools in overnight, or will be leaving your van unattended for a prolonged period during the day, it's a good idea to park in a way that will prevent or deter thieves from getting easy access to the doors or try to park in a busy, well-lit area, preferably in view of CCTV cameras. Even if someone does break into your van, you're more likely to find a witness or get the culprit caught on camera.
Check your insurance - If you don't have tools insurance as part of your insurance policy, think about adding it in. It can help pay for the cost of replacing your tools should they be stolen. Do check your policy wording to find out exactly what's covered, what the limits and excesses are, and if there are any conditions. For example, some insurers will require you to have certain alarms fitted in your van for tools stolen from it to be covered by the policy.
Last but by no means least...
Mark your property and record the make, model and serial number - There are several options to permanently mark your kit; ultraviolet pens, permanent marker, CRE MARK, selectaDNA, datatag to name a few. Just put down your house number or the first two letters of the house name and the postcode in a visible place.
A few minutes spent marking your valuables and recording the details is time well-spent. Not only will you stand a much better chance of getting your items back in the unfortunate event of them being lost or stolen, it will make it easier to claim for all the missing tools on your insurance. Joining a register such as Immobilise or SelectaDNA can also help police identify your property.
If you would like your tools marked for free with CRE MARK please contact 101 to arrange for local police officer to visit you at a convenient time and location or contact Community Safety at email@example.com
If you are a victim of crime ensure that you file a police report. The police can't do anything to help until you file a report with them. You can do this by dialling 101 on your phone or visiting a police station in person. Not only will this help with the recovery of your tools, but should you spot them for sale you'll have that report to back you up.