More than nine in 10 tradespeople (92%) say they or someone they know have been a victim of theft.
That is according to new research by commercial insurer NFU Mutual.
In the last 12 months alone, 53% of those surveyed said they had experienced tool or equipment theft, just shy of half had materials pinched, almost three in 10 had a vehicle stolen and 23% were victims of organised crime.
Almost a third of tradespeople (29%) admitted that the fear of theft and violence on their business contributes towards difficulties with mental health.
The rising cost of living (42%), financial worries (41%), stress of the job (39%), long hours (35%) and a lack of regular work (33%) were the other factors.
Zoe Knight, Commercial Specialist at NFU Mutual, said: “Theft of tradespeople’s tools or equipment continues to blight the industry and the fact 92% of people surveyed say they – or someone they know – have been a victim speaks volumes.
“Tradespeople rely on this equipment for their income and livelihood, with crime hitting not just their pocket but, as our research shows, also having a huge and negative impact on their mental health.
“To see a third of tradespeople fearing theft or violence in their day-to-day job is worrying and we would urge tradespeople to do all they can to offput the threat of that happening – via security measures and recording serial numbers of equipment.
“We want tradespeople to feel supported and protected should the worst happen and know there is also help available for those struggling.”
A report by Builders Merchants News revealed in December that texts to a construction charity helpline had seen an increase of 105% after the launch of an initiative to take the mental health message across the UK.