Understanding and Combating Tool Theft in Australia

For tradesmen across Australia, their tools are more than just objects. They are essential to their profession, key to their livelihood, and often the result of significant investment. However, an increasing number of tradies are experiencing a major setback in their work due to an unfortunate circumstance – tool theft.

Tool theft isn’t just a petty crime. It can cause significant disruption to a tradie’s work and livelihood. It comes with the financial burden of replacing the stolen tools, but also the interruption to business as they’re unable to fulfil their professional duties without their necessary equipment.

Reports indicate a worrying trend: tool theft is on the rise. A 2020 report from the UK revealed a shocking 54% increase in tool theft over just two years, equating to a tool theft every 23 minutes on average. This isn’t a problem isolated to the other side of the world either; Australia is grappling with its own tool theft crisis.

It’s estimated that tool theft costs the Australian construction industry hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Easy targets for thieves, tools can be quickly snatched from unsecured vehicles or worksites and sold off, often with little to no identifiable markings.

In Victoria alone, over 30,000 tools and power tools were stolen in just one year, ending June 2022. According to Crime Statistics Victoria, this staggering number of stolen tools has an estimated value of nearly 27 million dollars. It’s clear this is a significant issue requiring immediate attention and action.

For tradies, there are several preventive measures that can be taken to mitigate the risk of tool theft:

Tool Insurance

Tool insurance can provide coverage in case of theft, helping to offset the financial burden of replacing expensive tools.Engraving or Marking Tools:
Consider marking tools with an engraving or identifiable paint colour. This can deter thieves as they are harder to sell and can also assist law enforcement in returning stolen tools to their rightful owners.

Toolboxes with Locks

Toolboxes that feature secure locks can provide a physical barrier against theft. Opt for heavy-duty steel options for maximum security.

Vehicle Security

As many tradies store their tools in their vehicles, enhancing vehicle security is critical. Consider installing an alarm system or parking in secure, well-lit locations.

Trackers on Expensive Tools

For pricier tools, investing in tracking devices could be worthwhile. These discreet devices can help tradies locate their tools if stolen.

Tool Inventory

Keep a regularly updated inventory of tools. This aids not only in insurance claims and police reports but also helps tradies keep track of their toolkit.

Taking these steps can help tradies protect their valuable assets, maintain their livelihood, and tackle the growing problem of tool theft head-on.

As a collective, these actions can help to reduce the impact of this concerning trend and ensure that tradies can continue to carry out their important work in the community without unnecessary disruption.


Talk to Roger Hosie from #RSMTasmania 
Call Now! (03) 6244 7854, or email rogerh@rsmtasmania.com.au today

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