With van theft on the rise and expected to double in the next decade, Matthew Parton, Product Development Manager at ESP, offers some advice to contractors on how to protect their most valuable assets.
According to recent research by UK price comparison website, Compare the Market, levels of van theft are predicted to double to 20,000 in the next decade – after an 81% increase was seen from 2015 to 2019.
Using UK van theft data, they’ve predicted that the number of vans stolen each year will rise to 20,000 by 2030, with an average of 56 vans stolen each day in the UK – a 70% increase from predicted 2022 figures.
Unsurprisingly, tools are the most commonly stolen items from van break-ins. Tool theft is a problem that many tradespeople face, losing some of their most important tools to crime. This hurts businesses and forces tradespeople to invest even more into equipment for their work.
Nearly 67% of break-ins include tools being stolen, and research shows that only 1% are recovered due to their high resale value, leaving a devastating impact on tradespeople and their ability to do their job.
How to prevent the thieves
Top tips to better prevent tool theft include:
● Never leave your tools in your van or vehicle overnight – where possible, store them in a locked premises/site unit when working away from home, or take them home with you.
● Invest in a sticker – you can buy an inexpensive notice that says ‘No tools left in van overnight’ which can help deter thieves from attempting to break into your vehicle.
● Check your vehicle’s alarm regularly – make sure the alarms and locking features on your vehicles are working and noises can be heard loudly and attract attention when sounding.
● Have an immobiliser fitted to your vehicle or use a steering wheel lock – some thieves might try to take the whole vehicle and not just tools.
● Use a good quality lock/padlock on rear doors.
● Park your van in a locked garage.
If you aren’t able to park your van in a locked garage, park it close to the side of the house or wall so that is difficult to open the doors sufficiently, thus deterring thieves from getting or seeing in.
If it is on the driveway, make sure it is a well-lit area and consider installing a smart floodlight or CCTV system to deter thieves and record any suspicious activity.
A smart investment
An example of a smart floodlight is one from ESP’s Fort Smart Security range. The Fort Wi-Fi Smart Security Camera with Floodlights has a powerful 2000 lumen light output (25W) and offers full 1080p HD live view and recording – with a motion activated video record.
CCTV technology is advancing all the time and ESP now offers the latest 24/7 colour CCTV systems which will provide sharp detail, in colour, day or night. When it comes to CCTV security, colour-related information can play a vital role in identifying the detail of activities particularly in the hours of darkness.
Conventional cameras with infrared lighting will only provide black and white images for night-time monitoring. A colour CCTV system could be the key to identifying and catching the perpetrators and retrieving any stolen goods.
Browse the full ESP Fort Smart Security range here