Locks and Robbers
A pessimist would say that every silver lining has its cloud and tradesmen should really be inclined to agree with this gloomy outlook especially when we consider the good news that all vehicle related crime across England and Wales has fallen by 4% in the last year. But the bad news, and indeed the cloud, is that there were still a staggering 756,056 reported crimes against vehicles across the UK between April 2006 and March 2007, according to Home Office statistics. And these are just the reported crimes. As revealed by Professional Builder earlier this year, increasing insurance premiums have lead to a significant number of crimes going unreported, and according to the Federation of Small Businesses, crime against small businesses is reported in less than half the cases.
On top of this, vehicle crime is costing UK businesses £620 million a year, with the average insurance claim costing around £3000 – so is it any wonder insurance costs are at a premium and crime goes unreported?
For the sole trader, your work van or vehicle is your office. Without it work would come to a standstill and time is money. The longer a vehicle is off the road or a tradesman is without his tools, the more quotes and appointments are missed impacting negatively on future earnings. Not only that but you also have to consider the power of word-of-mouth. Many tradesmen generate business this way but with productivity on hold due to vehicle crime, deadlines go unmet and jobs get postponed, resulting at best in the loss of one job and at worst, bad news travelling fast questioning your reputation.
However, with all that scaremongering, there are many ways to deter opportunist thieves and protect your vehicle and indeed livelihood. It needn’t cost the earth and could actually save you money in the long term, with some insurance providers offering up to a 10% discount if vehicles are protected with durable security devices.
The security chosen to deter thieves and vandals should be right for the job. Spending thousands of pounds on tools is a big expense if a tradesman falls prey to the criminals who empty a van, or worse, steal the van. Tradesmen know the importance of choosing the right tool for the job and take a lot of pride in their tools. It makes good sense that the same pride is displayed when seeking security methods to protect them.
When it comes to security, you need a lock you can trust. For example, Kasp®’s 500 series Van Lock and Hasp has been designed to make it almost totally resistant to common forms of commercial-vehicle break-in, providing virtually no points for attack.
Our own market research has found that the standard locking system of a typical van is vulnerable to an experienced thief – the results of the Top Gear test to standard locks on vans proved this. A shed-type hasp and padlock may do slightly better but for real security a van needs to be protected with a purpose made lock.
Retailing at just RRP £ 34.99 (inc VAT), Kasp®’s shackle-less 500 series lock is enclosed within the walls of the hasp allowing maximum protection against hacksaw and cropping attacks. The six-pin cylinder provides extra protection against picking and the tough, zinc-plated steel hasp gives added strength and protection against corrosion. It also comes with fixing bolts, where other similar products on the market do not supply these.
Kasp® also offers a range of electronic security products. These battery-operated alarms are triggered by the detection of movement and are ideal for vehicles, as well as toolboxes. Each offers an ultra sound alarm that attracts immediate attention (90dB – 130dB), require no mains power and are portable for added convenience and security.
Although you can never guarantee that your vehicle will not be a target of the staggering number of thefts annually, there are measures you can take to deter them. The sheer strength and durability of the Kasp® 500 series Van Lock would make any thief think twice about tackling your van, after all, the longer it takes them to break-in, the more likely it is they will get caught.