Tools are stolen from a tradesperson’s vehicle every 20 minutes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, according to research from insurance company Direct Line.

Freedom of information requests to police forces revealed that there were 28,681 cases of tool theft from vehicles in 2019, equating to 78 incidences every day of the week.

Of the 28,681 incidences of tool theft, 30% were reported in London, 27% were in the northwest.

Taking into account population density, the northwest had the most accounts of tool theft per resident, with Lancashire Constabulary reporting 4,440 thefts in one year.


MicroCESAR powered by award winning Datatag technology is one solution to help identify stolen items. Following the success of the official construction and agricultural equipment security and registration scheme, CESAR, the latest system protects handheld power tools, such as Stilh saws and heavy breakers, with the same state of the art Datatag security marking technologies.

To combat theft and aid recovery MicroCESAR combines both overt and covert deterrents alongside a low one off cost and registration on a secure and accredited 24/7 police accessible database.

Datatag Small Powertool System

For smaller power tool, such as power-drivers, grinder or circular saw, there is the Datatag Powertool Security System.

Each system contains a new unique ultra destruct warning label with QR code and a bottle containing 100s of Datadots®.

The specially designed Datatag labels contain a unique identification number and QR code, and they also warn off any potential thieves that the tool is protected. They are both attractive and impossible to remove without damage.

The Datadots® in a UV trace adhesive can be applied with the supplied brush to almost every part of the tool, giving it 100s of identifying marks, impossible for a thief to remove – easy for police to identify.

The system is avaialable for a single item or as a multi tool bundle of 5 or 10 systems. These are available online at:
Single System
DIY Bundle (5 Systems)
Trade Bundle (10 Systems)

Regional Stats

The regional figures are set out in the chart below taken from the Construction Index.

Yorkshire & Humber333312
West Midlands24999
East of England23038
East Midlands12494
Northern Ireland221<1
England, Wales and NI total28681100%

Sources: Construction Index