If your company has suffered at the hands of racketeering security consultants, data thieves using iPods, fraudulent accounting or scams involving valuable plant, you might like to share your views in the forthcoming CIOB online survey on Crime in the Construction Industry

The CIOB has collaborated with the government’s Serious and Organised Crime Agency to compile a comprehensive questionnaire on levels of crime and fraud in the industry. ‘We hope the data that emerges will assist in reducing harm,’ said a SOCA spokesman.

Questions cover theft of personal property, tools and plant; vandalism, arson and other deliberate damage; fraud and deception; bogus deals; and illegal waste dumping.

The survey will also try to assess levels of reporting and under-reporting of construction crime.

Gary Sullivan, managing director of security and logistic contractor Wilson James, acknowledges this can be a grey area. ‘There probably is under-reporting, and difficulty in assessing what is a crime. Construction has a habit of over-ordering materials through lack of efficiency. So when they disappear, is that theft or a reduction in your waste bill?’

Like many experienced plant managers, Tony Thacker of Kier has had experience of plant being stolen. ‘It’s easy to steal a vehicle – all you need is to drive up to site with a lorry and a collection note,’ he says.

Satellite tracking technology has made an impact on reducing theft of larger, higher-value equipment, but he finds that small tools are still very easy to steal. ‘It’s a huge problem. I’ve known guys working in the road to put them down, turn round, and find they’re gone.’