Metal theft is a very serious problem and is considered the fastest growing crime in the UK.It is estimated to cost the UK economy £770million annually. An almost unbelievable 15,000 tonnes of metal was stolen last year affecting transport, utilities and the general public on an almost daily basis. Property has become a serious target, with this crime affecting all types of property especially empty buildings and in particular those that have been vacant for some time.
The following steps should assist when considering this problem:-
· Undertake a thorough risk assessment of your property – identifying higher risk items that could be targeted by thieves is a good starting point.
This process will enable you to determine what metal you have, where it is and how likely it will be a target.
· Remember that metal theft can affect any part of your premises, like roofs, cabling, boilers and plumbing, gates and fencing and manhole covers.
Thieves will take virtually anything with scrap value.
The next step is to take action to mitigate the risk and ensure high risk metal on your premises is better protected:-
· Secure the Perimeter – Keep intruders out with steel security screens, doors and fencing
· Install an Alarm – Nothing does more to detect and deter intruders
· Patrol and Inspect Regularly – Especially at night!
· If possible – Maintain Good Lighting Around the Property
· Reduce, remove or replace any metal where possible – Replace with a substitute such as non-lead flashing or plastic pipes. Consider if the overall level of metal stock can be reduced.