A Lancing company which sells van accessories is backing a campaign to tackle the ‘scourge’ of tool theft.
Whitebox UK, based at the Lancing Business Park in Marlborough Road, is throwing its support behind the #noVanber campaign, which calls for harsher penalties for people convicted of stealing tradesmen’s tools.
Denyse Whillier, chief executive of Whitebox, said: “It’s something that all tradesmen are worried about.
“They build up a collection of tools from when they first start out. That’s quite a significant investment for them.”
Falling victim to tool theft could have a ‘devastating’ impact on their livelihood, she said, adding: “It means they basically can’t work until they’ve replaced what has been lost.”
Richard Child, a senior engineer for the company, said at the time: “I have got no tools, no passport, I’ve had to cancel jobs. It’s stealing from somebody’s livelihood. They are not tools you can replace overnight.”
Ms Whillier said the incident had brought the issue ‘closer to home’ and said Whitebox heard reports of tool theft ‘on a daily basis’
As part of the noVanber campaign, a petition has been launched calling for the government to investigate what more can be done to tackle van theft and tool theft.
Ms Whillier said: “The key thrust of the petition is around deterrent. The deterrent is so poor at the moment. The punishment doesn’t fit the crime.”
Mark Cropley, of Whitebox, added: “Thieves know that if they get caught all they will face is a theft from motor vehicle charge and a small fine.
“They have to understand that stealing a livelihood is a much more serious offence and should carry with it commensurate penalties.”