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Trades United to Rally in London Against Tool Theft Epidemic

Trades United is organising a van rally in Westminster (Parliament Square) to bring attention to the widespread issue of tool theft and the resale of stolen goods. Starting from Brent Cross, tradespeople from across the UK will descend upon Parliament Square to demand stricter enforcement of existing laws and greater accountability for venues that facilitate the resale of stolen tools at car boot sales and markets.

Tradesmen and women will captivate London with a van rally, urging the government to address the inadequate enforcement of laws that jeopardise thousands of livelihoods across the UK.

The event is set for Monday 3rd June 2024, beginning at 11:00 AM, arriving to Parliament Square at 11:45-12:00 where tradespeople and their supporters will mobilise to Westminster to sound the alarm on the escalating tool theft and van break-in crisis.

In Westminster, the trades will gather for a “go slow” convoy demonstration, driving around the area for 2 hours. The goal is to highlight the need for stringent measures to deter the sale of stolen tools.

Trades United call upon the government to impose a £10,000 fine on event organisers of car boot sales and markets that permit the resale of stolen tools. By reducing the opportunities for thieves to offload stolen goods, Trades United and its supporters believe the frequency of vehicle break-ins and thefts will decrease significantly.

The Theft Act 1986, which addresses the handling of stolen goods, is currently underenforced. The Act stipulates:

  1. A person handles stolen goods if, knowing or believing them to be stolen, they dishonestly receive, retain, remove, dispose of, or assist in the realisation of the goods for another’s benefit.
  2. A person found guilty of handling stolen goods can face up to fourteen years imprisonment upon conviction.

Despite these provisions, enforcement is lacking, with crime reference numbers issued without thorough investigation into the crimes or the locations where stolen goods are resold. For the past 6 years the government has shown no urgency in tackling tool theft, as over 44,500 incidents have been reported. This is the equivalent of a trade’s person losing their livelihood every 12 minutes. The impact of tool theft is not just a financial loss but also has a huge mental health impact on those affected by this crime.

Trades United seeks to hold the government accountable and ensure the laws designed to protect tradespeople are effectively enforced.

Shoaib Awan launched a petition (#659019) for the current Government to address this issue with campaign group Trades United, since the announcement of dissolution of Parliament (30th May 2024) this will automatically be closed. The current petition reached over 46,000 signatures. However, he still urges everyone to support the cause in a bid to get their voices heard and issues addressed by future MP’s and their parties.

For more information on the petition, click here.

Shoaib Awan will be at InstallerSHOW to talk about the campaign on stage at InstallerTRADES, get your ticket here.

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