The crime is ‘hugely disruptive for hardworking tradespeople who rely on their tools for their livelihoods’, says product manager

Direct Line has urged tradespeople to ensure they have the right insurance in place as new figures revealed tools were stolen every 15 minutes in 2022 across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The insurer analysed data it received from a Freedom of Information (FOI) request that was sent to police forces across the three countries.

In a statement released today (15 May 2023), the business said there were 35,098 incidents of tool theft reported to police forces in 2022 – up 13% from 2021.

Over half (55%) of the tool thefts took place from a vehicle – equating to 19,147 cases and a 10% increase from the previous year.

London was the most common location where thefts occurred, with the Metropolitan Police representing 58% of all cases.

Alison Traboulsi, product manager at Direct Line business insurance, said that “the rising frequency of tool theft up and down the country is alarming”.

“Our research shows that over half of all tool thefts occurred from a vehicle, highlighting the importance of keeping tools secure, as well as having the correct insurance in place if theft does occur,” she added.

“Tool theft is hugely disruptive for hardworking tradespeople who rely on their tools for their livelihoods, so it’s vital that they do all they can to help protect themselves.”

Financial impact

Direct Line additionally surveyed 2,000 UK adults between 21 March and 24 March 2023 – including 188 tradespeople – which highlighted that the average value of tools that had been taken from their vehicles was £3,425.

That sum equated to a combined loss of £66m from the 19,147 cases of tool theft from vehicles in 2022.

Traboulsi added: “At Direct Line, we know the impact of tool theft can be devastating and we’re committed to giving tradespeople the protection they need to enable them to do what they do best.”