Tool theft is becoming an epidemic within the industry. Shocking statistics have found that these crimes are becoming so common, that up to 215 tradespeople a day could be having their tools stolen. And in a year, that’s a whopping 78,475 people falling victim to tool theft!
But what can be done about it? Well, the recommendations are that tradespeople should avoid leaving their tools in their van. But, of course, for some people, taking their tools inside with them is not always an option. So, they are recommended to park their vans against walls if possible and in well-lit areas. With aftermarket security available too, there are multiple ways that tradesmen can protect their livelihood. Take a look at some of these here.
However, despite all of this, thieves are striking now more than ever. Undeterred by the extra security people are taking, thieves are using the dark of night as cover. And, on the run-up to Christmas, with shorter daylight hours, tradesmen are calling for something more to be done.
Specifically, they want tougher penalties for the thieves who commit these crimes. But that’s not all. Alongside this, they also want stricter guidelines and laws to be put in place for the selling of second-hand tools too.
Consequently, a campaign has been launched to try and achieve this goal. Set up by tradesman Lee Watts, he is looking for fellow tradespeople to join his stand against tool theft. He described: “Our Government must look strongly into the growing problem of tool theft from vans and must impose much tougher penalties on those convicted of these crimes.”
“Not only that but I will also be looking for our Government to put stricter guidelines and laws in place for selling second-hand tools.”
“It is an increasing problem countrywide for all tradesmen and women.”
“It takes years of hard work and a large expense to build up a toolkit and a van that enables you to earn an honest living.”
“More and more people are being affected by this crime and it needs to be stopped.”
“I want this petition to reach Parliment to demand new laws that impose a minimum 12-month sentence on those convicted of vandalising vans and stealing tools.”
Lee aims to get as many signatures as possible and has got his local MP Mr Tom Watson involved in the campaign. Recently, he put the petition forward to the House of Commons to try and get these changes put in motion. However, unfortunately, this was without success. Despite this though, both Mr Watson and Lee remain positive. He described: “Although the initial response from them was disappointing Mr Tom Watson is pushing it really hard and is determined to make these changes happen.”
But, with more signatures still needed, Lee needs some help. So, if you feel strongly about tool theft, or have been a victim of the crime yourself, take a look at the petition itself here.
So what do you think? Have you fallen a victim of tool theft? Should there be tougher sentencing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.