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Power Tool Crime Warning: Construction Industry Demands Urgent Action | UK | New UK News

Buckingham MP Greg Smith wants market websites to be required to list the serial numbers of power tools and equipment so police and victims can locate stolen goods. Mr Smith said criminals in his riding were targeting parked vans and warned of a “growing crisis for traders.” He said builders were forced to “beg and borrow” equipment so as not to lose their livelihoods.

Research by insurers Direct Line found that tools worth over £ 83million were stolen in England and Wales between 2017 and 2019 – the equivalent of one piece of equipment worth £ 83,500 disappearing every day. He reported that only three percent of the tools had been brought together with their owners.

More than a quarter of the tools were recovered from vehicles (28%), a fifth were stolen from home and only 10% disappeared from workplaces or places of business.

A survey by Opinium of traders last year found that roofers were the group most affected, with 65% of them saying a tool had been stolen, followed by electricians (58%), plumbers (55%) and carpenters (54%).

Brian Berry, executive director of the Federation of Master Builders, supported the MP’s proposals.

He said: “With eight in 10 builders reporting they’ve had stolen tools in the past, I support calls for serial numbers to be listed in online marketplaces selling used tools. It is a shame that over a 40 year working life a builder typically loses £ 10,000 and six working days for tool theft.

“In addition to the negative financial impact, tool theft causes mental health problems and stress for builders. Builders can protect themselves by bringing tools inside at night, installing additional locks in their van, and marking tools.

“Builders should also check their insurance policies to see what they have covered. Government action on the issue will show that it is supporting builders as we “build back better” from this pandemic. “

Mr Smith will attempt to change the law by introducing legislation himself on Tuesday, although it would need government support to become law.

He said: “Overnight livelihoods are lost as tools are stolen halfway through a job or, worse yet, at the start of a project. A disturbing number of people never get their tools back and as a result suffer devastating setbacks in their work …

“A staggering 84 percent of tradespeople don’t believe enough action is being taken to prevent tool theft … We need to take urgent action now.”

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This notice was published: 2021-04-24 21:01:00