Fraudulent hires have recently cost three hire firms a total of just over £20,000 in stolen equipment.

Insurance firm Allan, Chapman and James warned that “a substantial amount of camera equipment” was taken from companies in London and Manchester including Canon and Sony cameras and lenses.

Allan, Chapman and James commercial director John Claffey stressed “the importance of thorough hire checks on all hirers, but in particular on new customers”.

It follows a spate of fraudulent hires at the end of last year that cost a handful of facilities an estimated £750,000.