The Crime Prevention Website

I recently received the following press release from our friends in Essex Police.  Clearly metal theft is still an issue in Essex and so for the benefit of all I thought it useful to pop this onto my news page so the useful advice can be read by all.

My thanks as usual go to Stephen Armson-Smith, Crime Prevention Tactical Advisor for Braintree and Uttlesford Districts, Essex Police.

Here’s what he says:

It’s not just old properties that are targeted by metal thieves commercial and residential, rural and urban properties also attract their attention.

Check your roof regularly, better to discover something is amiss before a theft is added to with water ingress damage.

We all need to work together and report any suspicious activity. Rarely will roofing contractors be working at night, people around buildings or on roofs using torch light, acting furtively, vehicles you don’t normally see in that area or using that lane to an isolated property, are just a few that may be cause for concern – report on 101 or 999 if a crime is being committed. SEE IT REPORT IT.

With our heritage properties and churches if we don’t help protect them there is real danger they could be lost for this and future generations.  

I have listed below a few crime prevention tips in relation to metal theft, but not all will apply to your property as each location may have site specific issues:

  • Make it difficult for the thief; where possible remove any climbing aids i.e. bins and ladders.
  • Make it difficult for the thief; metals can be heavy so make them walk a distance by securing gates when possible, and keep wheel barrows and wheelie bins locked away.
  • Make it difficult for the thief; keep sheds and outbuildings secure with good locks (see ), it adds insult to injury if they have used your tools and ladders.
  • Maximise surveillance by sympathetically cutting back shrubs and trees where possible.
  • Cultivate the neighbours to watch over your property and report any suspicious activity whilst it is happening.
  • External lighting for security? If someone can see the lighted area or notice when the PIR activated lights have come on light it, if not the only person to benefit from lighting is the thief.
  • Illusion of occupancy – things like a light and radio left on inside ect.
  • Consider using a forensic marker suitable for roofs (see ), and if you have it ensure that you have clear signage at possible climb points like downpipes and at your perimeter.
  • Consider a roof top alarm and possibly CCTV (see  or ); again if you have security flaunt it, ensure you have clear signage displayed.
  • Consider planting prickly shrubs at possible climb points and to reinforce boundaries to deter the thief.
  • Consider the use of anti-climb paints, but remember not below 2m and signage must be displayed.
  • If you use a non-lead roofing alternative – put signage up to show you have done this.

Further useful advice can be found on the internet including these web pages:

If you know who is committing crime contact the Police using the 101 non-emergency number or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

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