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Construction sector warning over alarming increase in plant theft
Written by staff reporter
Businesses in the construction sector have been warned of a significant year-on-year increase in plant theft which could see the figures for this year hit record levels. Up 55% since 2013, data from Allianz Engineering, Construction & Power shows the business dealt with 428 cases of plant theft in 2013 and the latest figures have increased year-on-year to 665.
Larger items such as excavators and JCBs proved to be the most expensive claims with one example costing £650,000 where a number of items of plant were stolen during the Christmas period at a quarry site. Theft of tools continues to be the most frequently stolen items accounting for a third of the number of claims with the cost usually falling between £1,000-£5,000. One of three claims that fell within the £100,000-£250,000 bracket involved a fraudulent hirer stealing 13 items of plant over four separate deliveries.
Allianz’s director of engineering, construction & power, Chris Little, said: “Our data reveals that by the end of 2018 thefts could rise by a further 9%, which should be extremely concerning for construction firms. Whilst some plant theft remains opportunistic, there are reports of more organised professional criminals making a good living out of stealing plant items.”
It is reported that the construction industry lost an estimated £800m in 2017 through the theft and vandalism of plant and machinery. This has a significant financial impact on both construction firms and individual tradespeople, since there is not only the cost of replacing the stolen equipment, but also the potential expense of hiring tools in the interim in order to continue trading.