In a survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), the pre-COVID costs of construction theft were revealed. This makes the recent recorded increase that much more concerning. This is attributed to the site shutdown following government guidelines – a situation that exacerbated the existing vulnerability of construction sites.
Some quick facts from the survey:
- Prior to the pandemic, it is estimated that construction crime cost the industry £800 million in losses
- 92% of those surveyed had been victims of construction site crime
- 21% of those surveyed had experienced weekly thefts
When heavy equipment is stolen, the loss doesn’t stop at the value of the asset. This includes downtime, delays, unmet deliverables, replacement rental costs, the question of the availability of a replacement, and insurance implications.
While lockdowns created an isolated context in which to view construction security, the pandemic has had a knock-on effect on the industry. This has endowed heavy equipment security systems with ongoing importance and smart technologies are part of the evolution of these systems. Some of the post-lockdown challenges include global supply chain issues and plant shortages around construction equipment and the inflated price of second-hand machines as a result.
The demand for machinery has also seen an increase in crime. This includes a surge in power tool theft and opportunistic heavy machinery theft. The delays in replacing machinery also create real worries for owners and managers around continuity in event of theft. This makes choices around heavy equipment security systems important.