A new App, ToolWatch, which aims to fight tool theft in the construction industry, assist police in returning stolen goods to their owners and save business owners’ time and money is now available.
The ToolWatch App (see here: www.toolwatchapp.com/police/) has been developed to help fight the war on tool theft. As a recent survey by business insurers, Simply Business (www.simplybusiness.co.uk) found earlier this year, one in three (37%) tradespeople have had their tools stolen, costing an average of £3,000 in lost earnings as well as the cost of replacing the tools.
The ToolWatch App is a low-cost subscription app service which once downloaded, registers a tool’s serial number and make. Users take a photo of the tool and upload it to a secure private profile, which can easily be amended or updated. The police have access to their own separate secure interface which allows them to check immediately whether a tool has been stolen.
Alan Brett, co-founder of the ToolWatch App said: “For construction workers, the ToolWatch App gives them the reassurance and security, that if their tools are stolen and found by the police, they will get them back.
“But the ToolWatch App will also be effective for all business and industries with equipment that is liable to be stolen – so it has huge potential in the fight against crime.”
The idea for the ToolWatch App came about after Alan, who runs his own building business, had £8,000 worth of tools stolen from one of his vans in 2017.
Alan’s insurance company wouldn’t pay out as they couldn’t prove which van the tools were in, so Alan was left to cover the cost of the stolen tools, leaving him out of pocket for the loss of his tools and earnings. With no way of recovering the tools, or identifying their owner, the idea behind the ToolWatch App was born to help combat the theft of tools and van break-ins, which now occurs, according to police figures once every 23 minutes.
Alongside the security and protection ToolWatch offers to construction workers, it also aids tradespeople within the industry. If a tradesperson is about to buy a second-hand tool, they can check whether it is stolen by typing in the serial number into ToolWatch which will show whether it has been reported stolen.
If a tradesperson sells their tools to a subscribed member, they can easily transfer ownership using the ToolWatch App. If the new owner is not subscribed, then the tool is marked sold.
ToolWatch App has become the first such app to receive BSI’s Secure Digital Applications Kitemark. In addition, the ToolWatch App has been accredited by Secured by Design (SBD), the national police crime prevention initiative, for meeting its Police Preferred Specification to deter and reduce crime to protect people, possessions and buildings.