Metal thefts have a severe impact on a multitude of industries and services within England and Wales.
In 2017 the UK government reported saying that with the introduction of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act, it found that the number of metal thefts fell by more than three quarters in 4 years.
However, with the change in markets and the increase in metal prices, many historical properties, memorials and monuments, services and industries are being targeted.
In recent times Network Rail has reported an 85% increase in the theft of live cables, leading to 950 hours of delay and affecting more than 7,000 journeys across England and Wales. Alongside rail services, Churches across England and Wales have seen an increase in metal thefts, with their lead roofs being stripped and sold for scrap. One striking example was when 20 tonnes of lead – the entire roof – was stolen from All Saints’ Church in Houghton Conquest, Bedfordshire last October. It is estimated that at the prices then it might bring the thieves £25,000 but will cost the church £400,000 to replace.
Although many properties and services are being targeted for their valuable metals there are ways to prevent criminals from stealing.
This product has been developed so that it can be painted onto metals such as Zinc, Copper and Lead. If a thief handles any metals with this grease painted on them, it can transfer onto their hand or cloths and become very difficult to remove – linking them to the crime. The grease is also UV reactive and has a unique DNA signature that can be easily traced.
Painting this specially designed grease makes metals ‘Hot property’ and no one would want to go near them, leading to the prices of metal on the open market to fall.
CCTV cameras are an effective deterrent against criminals as they do not want to be recognised when committing a crime. When installing CCTV make sure that they are high up and in areas where they cannot be tampered with or damaged.
If you can, hire manned guards during unsociable hours to monitor CCTV activity on your property as they can quickly respond and notify you and the police of any suspicious activity
Security lighting comes in a vast range of sizes and models but is an effective deterrent (especially when used alongside CCTV Cameras). Security lights can be triggered by movement and can light up anyone that may be attempting to steal any metals.
When installing Security lighting, make sure that they are in a high are and cables are out of reach or are buried within floors or walls so that they cannot be damaged or tampered with.
Remove bushes and other hiding places
Bushes may look pretty but they can make ideal hiding places for criminals that are looking to steal valuable metal. If you have bushes on your property, make sure that they aren’t located close to your building and are at an ideal distance that makes spotting criminals easier.
Remove bins and ladders
Any property that you visit will have large wheelie bins and ladders. When closing your business or property down for the evening, make sure that they are locked away or moved where they cannot be reached and used to get on top of your roof.
Mobile Patrol and Manned Guard Security
Although this may be a more drastic measure for smaller businesses or churches, for larger businesses and construction sites that deal with metal mobile patrols and manned guards are an effective way to deter criminals and protect your property
Manned guards are an effective deterrent against criminal activity. Some businesses see a lot of activity in and out of their business and it can be difficult to keep track of everyone.
Manned guards can be stationed close to main entrances, checking vehicles and personal coming in and out of your property. They can also conduct monitoring duties where they can monitor CCTV cameras for any suspicious activity within the property and quickly respond.
Manned guards can also restrict the number of people or vehicles on your site at a certain time during the day, making it easier for them to monitor who is on your site but also their activity.
Mobile Patrols can conduct perimeter patrols around your property either by foot or by branded vehicles. Mobile patrols can be conducted at regular or at irregular intervals, making them less predictable to criminals who may be watching your property.
If mobile patrols are away from your property and there is a disturbance, they can quickly respond and check for any suspicious activity or persons within your property.
A&R Security Services can provide professional security solutions to businesses across South Wales. To see further information about our security services visit our website or to arrange a meeting call us on 01656 713950