Birmingham, United Kingdom – 09/01/2024 – The Bletchley Group, a leading insurance brokerage firm, is responding to the alarming increase in plant and equipment theft in the UK construction sector. Since 2020, this criminal activity has surged by 50%, with police estimating annual losses at £100 million. This trend is not only sustained by opportunistic thefts during site shutdowns but also by organized crime groups targeting high-value items.

Rising Costs and Impact on Businesses
A recent survey by NFU Mutual reveals that 89% of UK tradespeople have fallen victim to such thefts. The squeeze in supply chains and soaring demands for projects like HS2 have escalated the cost of machinery, making it difficult for businesses to replace stolen equipment swiftly. This often results in crippling financial losses and operational setbacks.

The Challenges of Plant Theft

  • Staggering Statistics: £100 million worth of equipment stolen annually; 89% of tradespeople affected; a tool stolen every 17 minutes in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
  • Increase in Machinery Thefts: A 300% rise in the first quarter of 2023 alone, including significant GPS thefts.

Proactive Measures Against Theft The Bletchley Group emphasizes the importance of adopting advanced security measures and technologies to deter theft. Companies like ARMD and Cesar are leading the way in anti-tool theft technology and watermarking. Awareness about criminal tactics, such as posing as hire companies, and the implementation of stringent site supervision and documentation checks are crucial.

Legislative Support and Future Outlook The impending Equipment Theft (Prevention) Act 2023 is a significant step towards establishing standardized security measures and data handling in the construction sector. This legislation aims to mandate immobilizers, forensic marking, and maintain comprehensive sales records for ATVs and similar equipment.

Comprehensive Insurance Cover by Allianz Insurance In collaboration with Allianz Insurance, The Bletchley Group offers robust insurance solutions to mitigate the impacts of theft in the construction sector. This includes indemnity for rehiring charges due to theft or damage, a two-year ‘new for old’ policy extension, and a high inspection rate to ensure continuity of operations for contractors.

Partnering for a Secure Future As a partner of the National Federation of Builders, The Bletchley Group is committed to providing comprehensive insurance solutions through its network of market-leading insurers, including Allianz. We invite tradespeople and construction firms to discuss their insurance needs with us for enhanced protection and peace of mind.

Contact Information
To learn more about our insurance broker services, please contact us at: Phone: 03450 578 160 Email: [email protected]