Tradies should lock up their tools: theft trends


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Tradies should lock up their tools: theft trends

Residential building sites in CBD areas are more likely to encounter theft compared to sites in suburbs. Lock up your tools to prevent loss and damage.

For business owners, the stakes are higher because an incomplete, missing or damaged tool set can bring your entire business to a standstill - losing you money and, potentially, customers. We take a look at the cost and impact of theft in residential building sites across Australia.

In 2002, the Australian Institute of Criminology conducted a study on the extent and nature of on-site theft from residential building sites across Australia. The results show that risk of theft is highest in the final stages of construction, occurring at close to completion of a housing projecti. Building sites in CBD areas were more likely to encounter theft compared to inner-city suburbs, outer suburbs and regional towns - 44% of sites in CBD areas had been subject to theft, while only 40% of sites in suburbs and 30% in major regional towns were recorded as victims of theftii.

The patterns of theft show that raw materials, such as bricks, pavers, electrical cables, timber and tiles were the most frequently stolen items on a building site, followed by hand-held toolsi. Unsurprisingly, thefts occurred most commonly on open-site premisesi. The research also found that nearly one-third of all theft victims stated that the incident involved some forced entryi.

In a survey conducted on the total value of loss (total value of items stolen or damaged) suffered by theft and vandalism victims, it was found that over one-third of theft victims reported losses ranging between $101 and $500iii. In more severe cases, victims reported losses over $5000iii.

Of course, there are some ways to prevent tool damage or theft and that is to be proactive. Minimise the risks by:

Tools of trade can be misplaced, damaged or even stolen when being moved from one work site to another. Get a Trades and Services quote from Allianz today.

At Allianz, General Property cover - offered with our Small Business Insurance - provides financial protection for portable tools of trade and equipment that are used during the course of business at client sites or when taken home by employees. More importantly, we can help you get back on your feet in the event your tools are stolen or damaged due to an unforeseen event~. Get a Small Business Insurance quote online today.

~We do not provide advice on this insurance based on any consideration of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Policy terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. Before making a decision please consider our product disclosure statement. View PDS update (privacy notice).

i Australian Institute of Criminology, 2008, Theft and vandalism at residential building sites in Australia, Australian Government, http://www.aic.gov.au/documents/A/E/A/%7BAEA9377E-D13F-4239-BC8E-849E393C35C6%7Dtbp029.pdf, p.29

ii Australian Institute of Criminology, 2008, Theft and vandalism at residential building sites in Australia, Australian Government, http://www.aic.gov.au/documents/A/E/A/%7BAEA9377E-D13F-4239-BC8E-849E393C35C6%7Dtbp029.pdf, p.19

iii Australian Institute of Criminology, 2008, Theft and vandalism at residential building sites in Australia, Australian Government, http://www.aic.gov.au/documents/A/E/A/%7BAEA9377E-D13F-4239-BC8E-849E393C35C6%7Dtbp029.pdf, p.22