Date lodged: 21 March 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to tackle the reported rise in tool theft from vans, and whether it will take steps to ban the ownership of devices that are used to gain access to vans.
Answered by: Annabelle Ewing 17 April 2018
The Scottish Government remains committed to tackling crime across Scotland. Recorded crime is at its lowest level since 1974, and down by 38% since 2007-08.
The Scottish Government is committed to building safer communities by supporting: local authorities; Police Scotland and partner agencies such as Crimestoppers, Neighbourhood Watch Scotland and the Scottish Business Resilience Centre; and communities themselves in helping to create an environment where people feel safe and supported and where everyone takes responsibility for their own actions and how they affect others.
In October last year, Police Scotland established "Operation Performance" in Lanarkshire to tackle tool theft from vans which focussed on tracking down offenders and educating the public. Working with Neighbourhood Watch Scotland, Police Scotland provided preventative advice to owners which included marking all tools and boxes with a permanent marker or etching. Operation Performance resulted in over £250,000 worth of stolen tools being recovered.
I understand that the devices sometimes used in this type of crime to block the locking signal, can be something as simple as another legitimately available remote control device which works on the same frequency. Therefore it is important that drivers remain vigilant and manually ensure that their vehicle is locked before leaving it unattended. Police Scotland are clear that crime prevention messaging is a priority and will continue to educate the public on this issue, ensure information is shared and that any processes put in place are replicated in other areas to discourage individuals from similar type crimes.