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The NBCC launch Tool Marking Initiative to Combat Commercial Tool Theft

The National Business Crime Centre has partnered with Williams Trade Plumbing Supplies to hold a number of tool marking events across the country in September to tackle the theft of power tools and other high value items from commercial vehicles.

Seven police forces have signed up to take part in the national event which will involve police officers and staff from each force working with their local Williams Trade Plumbing Supplies outlet to mark the property of tradespeople in the area, making the items less desirable to thieves. Once marked using SelectaDNA property marking kits, the items will be registered on the  Secure Asset Register (SAR) property database, making them easy to identify and hopefully to return to their rightful owner if they are stolen. The SAR database is available via both mobile and web Apps, 24/7 for police to search for recovered property, and SelectaDNA is already used successfully by police forces to reduce burglary, vehicle theft and rural crime.

Tradespeople who attend the events will also be given deterrent stickers to display on their vehicles and crime prevention advice from the local team to help them keep their tools and vehicles secure.

Police Sgt Paul Fagg from the National Business Crime Centre said: “We are grateful to Williams Trade Plumbing Supplies for agreeing to host these events and to those police forces who are actively supporting the initiative. Tool theft from commercial vehicles continues to be a big problem for tradespeople with Direct Line for Business estimating that more than £83 million worth of tools have been stolen across England and Wales in the last three years.

“Many of the people targeted are self-employed and when their tools are stolen they not only lose the items themselves, which can run into thousands of pounds, it can also result in loss of work and loss of earnings. By marking tools and taking simple crime prevention steps, the risk of being a victim can be significantly reduced.”

The forces taking part are Sussex Police, The Metropolitan Police, Hampshire Constabulary, Essex Police, West Midlands Police, Avon and Somerset Constabulary, and Greater Manchester Police with some funding additional marking kits as part of their event.

Ray Stafford, Managing Director of Williams Trade Supplies said: “Tool marking is a vital part of reducing tool crime. It deters thieves from targeting your van, it increases the chances of the police getting a conviction and if your tools are stolen, it much more likely that they will be returned to you in the future. We are very pleased to be working with the police and SelectaDNA in this ground-breaking initiative which we hope will spread throughout the industry.”

The initiative is being used as a pilot to test the principle of marking property and to see just how effective it is as a deterrent and if tools are stolen, as a means of returning items to owners. The pilot will involve follow up questionnaires to those whose property was marked on whether they have been a victim of crime and if so whether their property was recovered.

The NBCC has also produced crime prevention guidance on ‘Commercial Vehicle Security’ which can be downloaded from the website.