Tunbridge Wells found to be hotspot for tool theft

The Mead School in Tunbridge Wells gave a professional level performance in the  ISA drama contests

An insurance company’s research has found Tunbridge Wells to be a surprising hotspot for tool theft.

A study, released last week by Simply Business, showed the town had the highest theft per tradesman ratio in the UK, with one in 13 making a claim last year.

The company compiled the data by analysing its 425,000-strong customer base and finding the places where the most number of claims were made.

Tunbridge Wells saw the sixth total highest number of claims, behind London, Sheffield, Birmingham, Leicester and Chelmsford.

But its comparative size meant it was top of the list for ‘highest tool theft per tradesperson’.

Tunbridge Wells carpenter Andrew Waller said thieves stole nearly £7,000 worth of tools from his van over Christmas time.

‘It was devastating,’ he said. ‘There had been a string of break-ins in my area. My van was reasonably new and has strong exterior including deadlocks I had fitted.

‘However they managed to lever open my van and got through the dead locks in a matter of minutes.’

Simply Business said some thieves were making off with goods worth up to £11,000.

The post code area with the most number of claims was said to be TN12, which covers Paddock Wood and Staplehurst.

Mr Waller continued: ‘While my insurance had me covered from a financial perspective, it affected my customers as my van was off the road for a week whilst it got fixed.

‘I also had an apprentice who relied on me for lifts who was out of work.

‘More needs to be done to highlight this issue – it is significantly affecting everyone in my area and its time it was realised as a serious issue.’

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