Nine vans stolen on average in London every day

The equivalent of nine vans were stolen every day between September 2021 and August 2022, according to new data from Direct Line business insurance.

It shows that 3,302 vans were stolen in areas that fall under the Metropolitan Police’s jurisdiction, while 12 were stolen in locations patrolled by the City of London Police – a total of 3,314.

The number of van thefts has decreased slightly year-on-year, however, by 140 from 3,454.

Most vans (1,773) were stolen from the street, with 101 being taken from driveways, 1,028 stolen from unknown locations and 412 vans taken from other locations including offices, car parks, garages and hospitals.

Van thefts were highest in November 2021 (354 vans) – 78 higher than the monthly average of 276 – and lowest in July 2022 when 202 vans were stolen.

Malkit Sihra, van product manager at Direct Line business insurance, said: “Vans are essential for many businesses across London and the rest of the country.

“Disruption is stressful, and we know that tradespeople lose, on average, £1,427 each working week from lost business when their van is stolen, damaged or written-off.

“It is important that those who rely on their vans for business remove any expensive tools and equipment when parking overnight.”

A separate study by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles found that tool theft has soared in the past 12 months, with more than a third of van drivers falling victim – up from a quarter the year before.

The study found that when tools are stolen, it stops work for six days on average, causing UK businesses to lose up to £5.2 billion annually.

While London remains the UK’s biggest tool-theft hotspot, according to Volkswagen’s study, the rate has reduced to 47% of van drivers from 55% in the previous year.

That’s in contrast to Scotland (45%), the North West (41%) and North East (40%), which have recorded huge surges in tool theft in the past year.

The South East is the area where van drivers are least likely to fall victim to a break-in.

Parking in a well-lit area or in a car park with CCTV can help to reduce unwanted attention. Where this cannot be achieved or for those that have more than one vehicle, parking them defensively – where doors are blocked by another vehicle or object – can be a good deterrent.he

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