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Tool Theft Predicted to Increase as Clocks Change

Tool Theft Predicted to Increase as Clocks Change
30 October 2023

Police data shows that November is the peak time for tool theft in the UK.

As daylight hours reduce, tool theft from vehicles increases by 20 per cent, according to analysis from Direct Line business insurance.

A Freedom of Information request to the England, Wales and Northern Ireland Police forces shows  a 34 per cent increase in tool theft during November 2022, after the clocks changed, compared to April 2022, after the clocks moved forward and days got lighter. 

Tool theft from vehicles specifically was 44 per cent higher in November 2022 than in April of the same year.

Alison Traboulsi, Product Manager at Direct Line business insurance commented: “In the winter months, the long nights provide cover of darkness for thieves, making it easier for them to break into vehicles, garages, lockups or building sites unnoticed. Tool theft is hugely disruptive and stressful for tradespeople, alongside having to replace tools, many may not be able to work while they do so, which directly affects their livelihoods. 

“With police force data showing that thieves exploit the darker days to steal tools, now is a good time to reflect on where and how tradespeople store their tools and make any necessary changes; from installing additional locks and alarms to being aware of where to park – in garages, driveways and in well-lit areas, where possible.”

Direct Line’s own research shows that the average value of tradespeople’s tools taken from their vehicles was £3,425.


Preventing Tool Theft from Vehicles


  • If possible, don’t store your tools in your vehicle overnight. If this is unavoidable, park with rear or sliding doors against a wall or fence. 
  • Look at additional safety features for your vehicle such as alarms, a lockable interior cabinet or interior deadbolts.
  • Make your tools less attractive by removing branded nameplates and marking them with neon spray paint. 


​Picture: a photograph of a white transporter van  on the road against a blurred background. Image Credit: Pixabay

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 30 October 2023


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