Metal theft is on the rise from outdoor sites


The Crime Prevention website highlights that the theft of copper cabling from the National Rail Network amounted to £16 million in just a year, and some of the other common site targets for metal theft include building sites, historic buildings, scrap yards and energy substations. Minimising the risks of metal theft from your business site is an important security aspect that should not be ignored.

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to minimise the risk of metal theft

According to police records, 61,349 metal theft offences occurred in 2012/13 and this amounted to 2% of total crime in England and Wales. A National Taskforce run by the British Transport Police does target metal thieves and the dealers who are prepared to buy their stolen goods, however, there are techniques businesses can put in place to minimise risks of metal theft from their sites. These include:

1. Remove the targets

Some historic buildings and churches have not replaced lead stolen from their structures, and use a waterproof material instead, however, this is generally not an option for listed buildings.

Metal and copper pipes can be replaced with plastic piping to cut risks of theft.

2. Make it harder to access targets

Keeping scrap metals in a secure container or building cuts the risk of metal theft as it makes it harder for thieves to access the metals. Construction sites should also keep any wiring, sheet metals and new cables in secure containers.

Ordering white goods, air conditioning units and heating boilers on a “just in time” basis reduces risks of theft from building sites, as they can be secured in lockable premises overnight.

Improved perimeter fencing and arrangements for access control can also minimise risks of metal theft from building sites.

3. Improved intruder detection and surveillance methods

Installing CCTV cameras and perimeter intrusion detection systems can be very effective ways to protect vulnerable sites. If you’re in an urban area, where there’s a likelihood that intruders will be spotted, then fitting a good lighting system can also help deter casual thefts. However, where your site is isolated, fitting lights could actually help the intruder.

Harper Chalice provides a variety of security solutions for sites, including electric security fencing, perimeter security RADARs and perimeter intrusion detection systems. Contact us for more information.

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