Chartered Institute of Building
Printable version E-mail this to a friend

Industry loses millions every year due to theft, vandalism and health and safety neglect

The Chartered Institute of Building’s (CIOB) research into crime in the construction industry has shown that an overwhelming majority have experienced theft, vandalism and health and safety neglect.

92% of respondents had experienced theft in their business, 91% vandalism and 90% health and safety neglect. These crimes contributed to respondents suffering severe financial losses in their business; 38% stated it cost their business at least £10,000 a year and 9% reported losses of over £100,000 a year.

The research examined the scale and impact of crime on the construction industry and highlights the key areas of concern for senior level construction workers.

31% of respondents stated there has been an increase in crime in the industry in the last twelve months and only 8% felt it had decreased. The majority of respondents linked this increase to the recession and stated that more people are turning to illegitimate ways to make money to survive the downturn.

Michael Brown, CIOB Deputy Chief Executive said; “The results suggest a real need for site and project managers to be trained on how to prevent crime on construction sites and what measures should be taken if it does occur.

“The research highlights that a lot of crime doesn’t get reported, we would advocate higher levels of reporting, and an increase in collaboration between law enforcement agencies and the industry.”

The survey showed that the most effective crime deterrents are secure storage, enhanced lighting linked to CCTV and registering plant and equipment.

These were not the only crimes that were explored in the survey; it was also evident that the industry is susceptible to attack from organised crime. Over one fifth of respondents had experienced racketeering and money laundering in their business or on a project with which they were involved and 11% had experienced kidnapping.

“Thankfully, these most serious occurrences are rare but that does not mean that their importance should be underplayed. The impact of crime varies considerably. Some respondents indicated that they had been very lucky in encountering hardly any crime throughout their construction careers,” added Michael Brown.

Only 1% stated they thought these more serious crimes were common and the majority of those who had experienced these crimes stated they were very rare.

The sample consisted of 1100 construction industry professionals, the majority (65%) of whom described themselves as management.

A full version of the report is available at


The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) represents for the public benefit the most diverse set of professionals in the construction industry.

Our Mission

To contribute to the creation of a modern, progressive, and responsible construction industry; able to meet the economic, environmental and social challenges faced in the 21st century.

Our 7 Guiding Principles

· Creating extraordinary people through professional learning and continuous personal development.
· Promoting the built environment as central to the quality of life for everyone everywhere.
· Achieving a sustainable future, worldwide.
· Advocating exemplary ethical practice and behaviour, integrity and transparency.
· Pursuing excellence in management practice, and technological innovation rooted in evidence based science.
· Being socially responsible and working responsibly.
· Enabling our members to find an emotional resonance with the Institute; their success is our success.

We have over 40,000 members around the world and are considered to be the international voice of the building professional, representing an unequalled body of knowledge concerning the management of the total building process.

Chartered Member status is recognised internationally as the mark of a true, skilled professional in the construction industry and CIOB members have a common commitment to achieving and maintaining the highest possible standards within the built environment.

Further information is available by contacting Saul Townsend CIOB Press and Communications Manager on t: 01344 630 766 or e:

Why Do We Need People Management Skills?...How Do We Best Manage Our People?...access and download the Ultimate Guide to People Management Skills now