Van Watch meets the Home Secretary, and the King signs the Equipment Theft (Prevention) Act into law.

Van Watch met with the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, on a visit to Williams HQ, which is located in her constituency. This provide an opportunity to bend the ear of the most senior member of the government to have responsibility for the tool crime issue. Mrs Braverman was forthright on the need for the police to commit more resources to tackling this type of crime.

“All victims of theft deserve more from the police and justice system than simply a crime number, and they should expect that all reasonable lines of enquiry will be followed up.”

The same theme was repeated in a number of press articles quoting “Home Office sources” in the following day’s newspapers, and reinforced similar comments made recently by Police watchdog Andy Cooke, HM Inspector of Constabularies.

Van Watch will now be contacting all the Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables across the UK’s 46 Police forces to ask them about their plans to convert these welcome words into action on the ground.

Van Watch also took advantage of the meeting to press upon the Home Secretary the need to revise the guidelines used by courts, making the theft of tools of a trade an “aggravating factor” when sentencing, to reflect the impact that such theft has by denying the victim the means of making a living. This change would increase the likelihood of tool criminals receiving a custodial sentence, something that very rarely happens using the current guidelines.

Van Watch has previously reported on the Equipment Theft (Prevention) Act which enables regulations to be introduced requiring the mandatory forensic marking and regstration of high value power tools at point of sale.

There will now be a six month period whilst civil servants follow up on the recent “call for evidence” and continue to consult with industry bodies. Secondary legislation may be introduced in early 2024.

If manufacturers or re-sellers would like to engage with forensic marking experts or with officials involved in this initiative, Van Watch would be pleased to make the necessary introductions. Contact or via the contact us page at