Tool theft from vans has increased by 15% in the last three years, costing businesses more than £46m, according to research by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
Police forces across the UK have recorded over 64,000 cases of theft from commercial vehicles since April 2015, with a record 23,859 incidents in 2017/18.
The worst area for tool theft is central London, followed by Northumbria and West Yorkshire. Humberside recorded the biggest rise in theft, with incidents up 1,000% over the last three years. The cost to van operators is not just related to replacement tools, as vans often have to have new locks fitted or repaired, with the resulting downtime costing companies up to £550 per day.
As well as offering anti-theft alarms and tow-away protection across its van line-up, VW is promoting Car-Net Security and Service, initially on its Crafter vans. This allows drivers and fleet managers to keep track of their vehicles via a smartphone app.
An online anti-theft alarm alerts the driver via the phone or e-mail if an attempt is made to break into the vehicle.