A new report has revealed the devastating results of tool theft on the mental health of tradespeople.
The Tradespeople Against Tools Theft White Paper, which was compiled by business insurance specialists Simply Business and On The Tools, states that tool theft costs British tradespeople an eye-watering £4,470 on average. Self-employed workers are disproportionately affected, with 68 percent experiencing anxiety about tool theft on a daily basis. The collective cost to the construction industry is thought to be in the region of £2.8 billion.
Moreover, nearly 50 percent of respondents said that tool theft had a ‘strong impact’ on their mental health, with many experiencing additional issues after blaming themselves for failing to triple check that tools are safely locked away.
In response to the findings, the chief executive of Simply Business, Alan Thomas, said:
‘Tradespeople, like so many other business owners across the country, continue to battle rising costs, surging energy prices, and material shortages, all while continuing their recovery from the impact of the pandemic.
‘At the very least, in the midst of a cost of living crisis, there needs to be wider recognition of the fact that tool theft poses countless problems – impacting both finances and wellbeing.’
The Workers Union Says…
The Workers Union has covered the issue of tool theft extensively in the past, and it is to our great regret that we must tackle it again. Stealing the fundamental levers of someone’s livelihood is a wicked affront to these hard-working people and one that should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
In 2021, politicians brought forward the Tool Theft Prevention Bill in order to force second hand tool sellers to show the serial numbers of their tools in searchable advertisement text. At the time of writing, the bill has received a first reading, but seems to have slipped down the list of legislative priorities.
Tradespeople urgently need the protections such a bill would afford, as much as they need the general public to report any suspicious activity they see around tradespeople’s vans and equipment.