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#NoVANber: Fighting Against Van Tool Theft

1st Nov 2018

Boiler Guide Team
By: Boiler Guide Team
Updated: 21st July 2021

Van Theft week Days stats

#noVANber, launched by Peter Booth (@PBPlumber on Twitter), will be running throughout November to encourage the government to increase the punishment of those found guilty. The current punishment can be as low as a £60 – £80 fine.

This isn't the first petition aimed at getting the government to take tool theft more seriously but unfortunately, they've never achieved enough signatures. With the backing of some of the biggest names in the industry, this latest petition should hopefully reach the 100k signatures required for it to be debated in parliament.

What Did PB Plumber Say?

In a video announcing the campaign, Peter Booth stressed the importance of something being done about van tool theft: "On the 1st November, I'm starting a campaign on social media called #noVANber to take a petition to government to get the courts to take this more seriously. It's not just criminal damage, they're affecting our ability to work and our ability to earn a living.

"There are a lot of petitions out there but they don't seem to be going anywhere. So on 1st November, join me, we're going to all team together, this is going to take all of us to get some notice and hopefully get something done."

How You Can Support #noVANber

The best way to start is by signing the petition to help it reach the 100k signatures required to get it in front of parliament. Once you've signed, why not spread the word on social media using #noVANber and any other way you can.

Van Tool Theft: The Statistics

Van tool theft isn't something that's just come about recently, it's something that tradespeople have been victims of for a number years. There are some shocking statistics behind van tool theft, each one of them showing just how important it is for more action to be taken:

  • 50% of tradespeople have had their tools stolen more than once
  • Average value of van theft has risen to £1,692
  • In 2016, van tool theft cost tradespeople £94,521,600 (according to Trade Direct)

To put the epidemic further into perspective, 50% of tradespeople who have been a victim of tool theft weren't able to work the following day and this can cost them at least £500 in earnings. Van tool theft isn't just an inconvenience, it leaves people unable to work so supporting #noVANber can help to change this.

Something else to consider is that Thursday has been found to be the day of the week where most vans are broken into.

Van Theft week Days stats

Areas Most Susceptible to Van Crime

Van tool theft happens up and down the country, but some areas are more susceptible than others. Research conducted by Simply Business found the 10 areas most at risk in terms of number of thefts and total claim. Find out if the area you work in made the list with the table below.

Areas by Number of Thefts Areas by Total Claim
London London
Bristol Rotherham
Sheffield Sheffield
Northampton Northampton
Leicester Leicester
Leeds Bristol
Nottingham Nottingham
Birmingham Leeds
Bradford Coventry
Manchester Romford

Tips to Keep Your Tools Safe
There are several things you can do to keep your tools safe and make your van less susceptible to van tool theft:

Take your tools in with you at night
This one is probably easier said than done, especially if you have lots of tools in your van, but taking them into your home at night means that they're not as vulnerable to being stolen.

Having a safe within the van
Should a thief get into your van, an extra barrier to your tools in the form of a safe could help prevent them from taking anything.

Mark your tools
Mark your tools with a police approved forensic marking solution that's visible under ultraviolet light.

Keep documents and receipts
When you purchase a new tool, keep hold of any receipts or documents so that you can prove ownership and value.

Take out a tool insurance
Should you become a victim of van crime then having insurance can help you to quickly replace them.

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Boiler Guide Team

About the author

Boiler Guide Team

Boiler Guide has been home to a host of heating experts who have helped millions of UK homeowners searching for advice and guidance. If you’ve got heating questions, we’ll have the answers.

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