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Metal Theft - now the second biggest crime issue in the UK Monday 22nd October 2007

Metal Theft - now the second biggest crime issue in the UK Monday 22nd October 2007
25/06/2013

Metal Theft - now the second biggest crime issue in the UK Monday 22nd October 2007

Worldwide demand for metal, fuelled at least in part by the major growth in manufacturing in India and China has sent the price Metal Theft - now the second biggest crime issue in the UK after Terrorism !

Worldwide demand for metal, fuelled at least in part by the major growth in manufacturing in India and China has sent the price of scrap metal soaring.

Theft of metal is now recognised by police forces throughout the UK as a major issue and a national police taskforce is being formed to tackle the problem.

Over the last 12 months, West Midlands police have registered a doubling in metal theft, and whilst there have been 300 arrests this is just the tip of the iceburg.

Popular targets include lead cladding from lead roofs, metal statues and garden ornaments, aluminium bus shelters and scrap metal from engineering company waste bins, to name just a few.

Copper is also a favourite target (price of copper has doubled to £4,000 per ton over the last two years) which has even led to thieves cutting and stealing live electricity cables!

Many schools, churches and public buildings feature lead roofs and with typical insurance claims hovering around the £30,000 mark for repairs following a theft, many insurers are now looking for improved security for sites at risk. Other consequences of such thefts include the loss of facilities (i.e. classroom use) and general disruption during the repair work as well as other issues such as potential water damage from rain falling on an unprotected roof.

Some schools which have suffered lead theft have already installed additional external alarms and CCTV monitoring systems as an aid to protecting against theft, whilst others are considering use of manned guarding services.

As the problem is nationwide from Cornwall to Scotland, there are no geographic "safe spots" - are you at risk? - if so what action should you be taking?

This message was added on Monday 22nd October 2007

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