Metal Theft

Metal Cables

With an increase in the commodity price of metals due to increased demand and shortage of supply, the problem of metal thefts across the country has grown recently.

Metal and cable theft is not a victimless crime. It can have a knock-on effect on our communities and cause disruption to people’s lives, with a hugely negative impact on public services such as schools, communications, power and transport.

We work together with partner agencies such as British Transport Police, Environment Agency, VOSA and local authorities (Weights and Measures), along with specialist personnel from utility companies like British Telecom and Scottish Power, in order to tackle the issue.

Residents and visitors alike across North Wales can play their part by remaining vigilant and reporting suspicious behaviour to police by calling 101 or 0300 330 0101. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

You can play your part in preventing, and protect your property from, this kind of crime by following our top tips listed below.

Top Tips for Tackling Metal Theft (Pdficon Small Top tips leaflet)

  1. Remain vigilant and report anything suspicious – metal theft can occur any time during the day or night.
  2. If you see someone on a roof without scaffolding, report it to the police and record the details of any vehicle being used. This information can greatly help police should there be any such thefts in your area.
  3. Keep an eye on any nearby schools, places of worship and disused buildings and report anyone you may see trespassing – particularly on the roof of the buildings. Be vigilant if you see vans or workmen arriving unexpectedly at the building between 6pm and 8am, as they could be stealing the lead from the roof.
  4. Where possible, restrict vehicle access to buildings by locking gates and ensure that any perimeter fences are secure.
  5. Remove any means of transporting metal away from the property such as wheelbarrows and wheelie bins. Keep these items in a secure place.
  6. Ensure that ladders are stored in a secure place and out of sight of any passers-by. Ideally, keep them chained or secured to a wall in a secure outbuilding such as a garage or shed.
  7. Remove any water butts or garden furniture that could give would-be thieves access to the roof of a property.
  8. Don’t leave any scrap metal you may have such as copper piping, outside the property or your home in full view of passers-by.
  9. Regularly check your building / property before it rains to ensure that no thefts have occurred and that your property will not be subjected to water damage.
  10. Be a good neighbour and keep an eye on empty properties in your street or area and again report any suspicious activity to police.
  11. If you have copper or lead on show on your property – paint it black so it doesn’t stand out. Painting the metal black can help deter a thief from targeting the property.
  12. Consider anti-climb paint. This can be administered 6ft or above however signage must be provided to forewarn individuals that it has been used.