Tool theft is plaguing the construction industry with more than half of builders in the UK having had their tools stolen, according to new research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
The FMB’s research into tool theft shows that 51% of UK builders have had tools stolen. Of these, 46% had their side panel or door broken/pierced and prised open; 23% had their windows smashed and doors opened from the dashboard; and 22% had their locks picked.
“A crime wave is wreaking havoc across the construction industry. Tools are being stolen from vans and direct from construction sites, with some builders even being assaulted by would-be thieves," says Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB. "The impact of this on the nation’s smaller building firms is particularly disruptive. Not only is there a high cost in terms of both time and money spent replacing these expensive tools, and to fix the damage caused but, without the right tools, firms are simply unable to work. This is leading construction firms vulnerable at a time when other factors, such as skills shortages and material price rises, are already causing the sector a headache.”
"Where possible, builders should bring tools inside at night," says Berry. "If that’s not possible, they should install extra locks or safes in the van, and park against a wall or in a secluded location not visible from the road. However, even when taking these precautions, theft can still occur. It’s therefore important that builders put measures in place that give them the best chance of recovering their tools if they are stolen. Installing a basic CCTV system is one option but builders should also ensure they overtly brand their items with their company details. They should also register their tools' serial numbers on an online database. The courts have an important role to play too by ensuring they take this crime seriously, with appropriate sentencing when cases are brought before them.”
To keep abreast of FMB news, follow twitter.com/fmbuilders or www.facebook.com/FederationofMasterBuilders
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