#NoVANber: Fighting Against Van Crime

Van tool theft is an ever growing concern for tradespeople up and down the UK and a new social media campaign has been launched to help fightback: #noVANber.

The main aim of the #noVANber campaign, running throughout November is to generate the 100k petition signatures required to get the issue debated in parliament, and hopefully see that the punishment for commiting the crime is increased.

The current punishment for someone found guilty of van tool theft sits at a lowly £60-£80 fine, which is nothing compared to the potential cost of replacing the tools and inability to work for the victims.

There have been many petitions in the past aiming to achieve the same outcome but have sadly never reached the 100k signatures required. This campaign has been launched by Peter Booth (@PBPlumber) to finally get the issue debated in parliament and hopefully see steps made in the fight against van crime.

The Message from PB Plumber

Peter Booth announced the campaign with a video and said: “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.”

Supporting #noVANber

To get the 100k signatures required, signing the petition and sharing it around will help enormously. If you want to get involved on social media, then don’t forget to include #noVANber.

Van Tool Theft Statistics

Van tool theft isn’t a recent problem for tradespeople and there are some shocking statistics surrounding the crime.

  • In the UK, a van is broken into every 23 minutes
  • 50% of tradespeople have been a victim of van crime on more than one occasion
  • Average value of van theft now stands at £1,692
  • £94,521,600 was the total cost to tradespeople in 2016 (according to Trade Direct)
  • 50% of victims weren’t able to work the following day, costing at least £500 in earnings

These statistics show just how important the #noVANber campaign is and showing your support by signing the petition and spreading the word will help enormously.

A final point to note is that most van crimes are committed on a Thursday, see how van tool theft differs day-to-day with the table below.

Areas Most at Risk of Van Crime

Sadly, van tool theft happens right across the UK but some areas have proved more susceptible than others over the years. Simply Business conducted some research that found the 10 areas in the UK most at risk. Take a look at the table below to 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

Keeping Your Tools Safe

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

Tool Safety Tip Description
Take tools in at night You probably have quite a lot of tools so this one is probably easier said than done. Nevertheless, if you’re able to take just some of your most precious tools into the home with you at night it will help prevent them getting into the hands of criminals.
Safe in the van In the case that a thief manages to get into your van, a safe will act as an extra layer of protection.
Mark tools Applying police-approved forensic marking solution (visible under UV light) to your tools can deter thieves.
Hold onto receipts Holding on to any documentation gives you hard proof that the tools are yours.
Tool insurance In the unfortunate case that you become a victim of van tool theft, having insurance can help you to replace them and get back to work quicker.