How Common Is Construction Site Crime?

Written by regionadmin

30th November 2022

The BFM Magazine estimates that construction site theft alone costs the industry around £800 million a year but overall, how common is construction site crime in the UK, what are some of the most common types of crime in the construction industry and what are some ways that you can protect your construction site?

We’ll explore that in today’s article.

how common is construction site crime

Most Common Types Of Construction Site Crime

There are many types of crime conducted in the construction industry which can unfortunately be very harmful and dangerous to construction workers, managers, and members of the public alike.

Below are listed some of the most common types of construction site crime in the UK.

Theft & Vandalism

Theft is the most common type of crime, with 21% of respondents of CIOB research state they experienced the threat of theft each week and overall, a further 92% stating that they’re affected weekly, monthly, or yearly.

Theft of desirable heavy construction vehicles and machinery remain a common issue for the construction industry whereas so does the theft of metals, with a staggering 7,000 metal-related thefts recorded per month.

In addition to this, although heavy plant machinery & vehicles may be particularly distinctive, with them often having decals of company markings, plant machinery is cited to have a less than 10% recovery rate after theft due to identification and registration issues.

In terms of vandalism, 42.8% of those surveyed state that vandalism is a common monthly occurrence, with an overall figure stating that 91% of those interviewed had experienced vandalism at some point.

Health & Safety Neglect

Health & Safety neglect also remains a big issue in the construction industry, with 90% of respondents interviewed saying they have experienced health & safety neglect at some point, with 20% saying that neglect happens on a weekly basis and 42% saying the crime happens monthly.

Sadly, this has resulted in fatalities within the industry, with approximately 72 fatal injuries reported on average every year.

Organised Crime in Construction

Although overall rare, organised crime has been cited to happen within the UK construction industry.

Some of the highest figures of organised crime are listed below –

Bribery – Yearly occurrence – 35%

Handling stolen goods – Yearly occurrence – 35%

Illegal drug dealing or use – Yearly Occurrence – 33.8%

In addition to these statistics, another problem within the construction industry is the threat of rogue security – these are “security” organisations which attempt to force services onto construction sites through intimidation and threat of violence against staff, managers, and vandalism of the site.

Often, these rogue organisations do not even hold the appropriate accreditations to operate as security guards such as not holding the mandatory SIA licence all security professionals must possess before starting a security role – click here to learn more about the SIA.

construction site crime

Ways A Security Service Can Protect Your Construction Site?

After hearing about some of the most common threats and challenges to the operation of a construction site, we list below some of the benefits of trustworthy construction site security  below –

Only Trust Licenced Security Contractors

One important factor to securing a construction site is to hire a construction security service you can trust after learning about the danger of rogue organisations specifically targeting construction sites.

When choosing the right service there’s a couple things you can do to check the legitimacy of the security business such as –

  • Accreditations – check the security company you’re hiring for security holds all appropriate legal accreditations E.G; as previously touched on, an SIA Licence.
  • Testimonials – One way to check the legitimacy of a security business is to check either staff or previous client testimonials
  • Online reviews – See what other people are saying about the business on platforms such as Google &

Regular Health & Safety Compliance

Many security companies including Region Security can help with regular Health & Safety compliances.

For example, we offer a comprehensive site risk assessment to ensure that all people entering and exiting a construction site are aware of any potential health & safety risks, decreasing the overall chances of health & safety neglect on-site.

Visual Deterrent

Construction site security also acts as a striking visual deterrent – whether it be a static or a mobile patrol service around a site, the presence of a security guard or even an installed CCTV with a monitoring service attached will help curb the rise in crime we’re seeing on construction sites, especially when it comes to the likes of theft and vandalism.

how to protect your construction site

Ways You Can Protect Your Construction Site

There are also a variety of ways you can take measures to protect yourself, your staff, and your construction site against the threat of crime we have previously discussed in tandem with hiring a professional, trustworthy security service such as –

Lock everything up at the end of the day

A simple way you can help protect your construction site from theft is to actively ensure items of value such as power tools, etc are locked in a safe place or secured from theft by methods such as wheel clamps at the end of a working day, this will help make theft a lot less likely.

Control access in and out of the site

Another way you can protect your construction site and all key stakeholders in it is by ensuring that everyone who enters or leaves the site checks in and out in a rota or reception book so if something does get stolen, you may have a better chance of narrowing down who the thief is.

Security services often offer this checking in/out service towards the entrance of a security site.

Rigid PPE and Health & Safety Policy

It’s also important to always practice as rigid health & safety policy as possible as well as clearly mark where and when people should be wearing personal protective equipment – this is often throughout the site in most cases.

A proactive way to ensure this policy gets followed through or implemented is by hiring a specific health & safety expert on-site at all times, security services also usually help implement related policy.


In conclusion, we’ve explored how common crime is on a construction site in addition to ways in which crime can be prevented on a construction site.

If you’ve liked this article, why not take a look at the rest of our Construction Security articles where we explore topics such as discussing Security For Construction And Civil Engineering Sites.

We also have an official Region Security YouTube channel where you can check out great construction security related content such as Why Your Construction Site NEEDS Security in 2022.

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