Home Business News Police data reveals 70% of London boroughs have seen an increased rise in tool theft

Police data reveals 70% of London boroughs have seen an increased rise in tool theft

by LLB Reporter
13th Mar 23 12:12 pm

Metropolitan Police data has revealed that 34,712 tools were reported stolen in London from 2021 to 2022 compared to 21,445 tools from 2019 to 2020, an FOI request has found.

70% of boroughs have seen a rise in tool theft and overall reports of London tool thefts were 111% higher than those in 2021.

The Tool Theft in London 2022 report, collated by London telehandler hire specialists Herts Tools, comes from a freedom of information request to the Metropolitan Police. The data reveals the impact of tool theft in London, the most affected industries and the types of tools that are targeted most often.

Data analysed from January 2021 to October 2022 – revealed that Barnet had the highest count of offences recorded, with a total of 2,081, followed by Enfield (1,794), Newham (1,761), Brent (1,367) and Waltham Forest (1,318).


The five boroughs with the lowest numbers of thefts reported were all focused in south and south-west London. Kensington & Chelsea had the lowest number of offences with 333 reported, followed by Kingston-Upon- Thames (385), Richmond-Upon-Thames (416) and Merton (490).

Camden has seen the largest increase of the London boroughs, reporting 88% more stolen tools in 2022 compared to the same period in 2021: an increase of 188% in the last two years. Whilst Sutton saw the most significant reduction as theft reports were 24% lower than in 2021.

How to prevent tool theft

  • Don’t store tools in your van overnight.
  • Get a tool safe if you have to leave any tools in your van.
  • Always lock your van’s doors during the day, to keep opportunistic thieves out.
  • Park in a busy area covered by CCTV.
  • Fit an alarm to your van.
  • Mark tools with your name and postcode.
  • Use security tags or chips to deter thieves and help recovery if something is stolen.
  • Apply brightly coloured paint to make them more identifiable and less attractive to thieves.

Stefano Lobban, Director at Herts Tools, said, “It’s disappointing to see that the tool theft epidemic is getting worse in London.

“It’s not surprising to see that high-price items such as powered hand tools are still the most sought-after by thieves. Amid the ongoing cost of living crisis, the trade for secondhand (and potentially stolen) tools is booming, tempting more people into stealing tools

“We’re urging those across all trades to double-check they have theft security measures in place, to avoid falling victim to crime.”

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said, “With 8 in 10 builders reporting that they have had tools stolen before, tool theft is a serious issue for Britain’s tradespeople.

“It’s a shame that over a 40-year working life, tradespeople will typically lose £10,000 and six working days to tool theft. Aside from the detrimental financial impact, tool theft causes mental health issues and stress for builders.

“Builders can protect themselves by bringing tools inside at night, adding extra locks to their van and marking tools. Installing an affordable CCTV system is a further option, as well as registering tool serial numbers on an online database. Builders should also check their insurance policies to see what they have covered.”

Leave a Comment

You may also like


Sign up to our daily news alerts

[ms-form id=1]