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Easy Life For Thieves

01 Apr 2009

With around 511 vans being broken into every day, thieves are finding they can be rich pickings.

More than half of light vans don't have an alarm fitted; 42% are without an immobiliser; and 16% of owners don't lock their vans. Perhaps it's no surprise, then, that 560,000 vans (16%) have been broken into over the last three years according to research from Direct Line for Business insurers.

With around 511 vans being broken into every day, thieves are finding they can be rich pickings. Only 36% of drivers empty their vehicles every night; and only 7% have a ‘van vault' or similar secure chest fitted. The research also found that some vans are targeted more than once by thieves: over 35,000 drivers had their vans broken into more than once in the last 12 months.

The loss of tools or equipment can be hard to replace according to TV presenter and former tradesman Tommy Walsh: "If you're a tradesman and somebody steals your tools, it not only stops you working, but some tools are like old friends that you trust and have had for years. That's without even taking into account the cost to replace them. The fact is that a thief will always have a buyer for your tools. Leaving them in your vehicle is asking for trouble."

As well as the cost of replacing stolen items, other indirect costs also add up: 23% of van drivers had to miss up to five days' work after being a victim of crime. For a small business or the self employed, this can have a substantial effect on their income.

London appears to be the hotbed for thieves targeting vans: 35% of drivers' vans were broken into in the last three years compared with 16% nationally. The areas least affected by van crime are: Wales (5%); and the Midlands (6%). However, drivers in London, are the most security conscious: 95% lock their vans; but they are the worst at emptying the contents (33%). 22% of drivers in the South East and Anglia leave their vans unlocked.

News source: Courtesy of Glass & Glazing Magazine