Protecting your business from scrap metal theft

It looks like metal theft is on the rise across the UK, with common targets such as copper cables on rail lines seeing a spate of thefts.

This is part of a wider issue – the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA) is calling for the re-establishment of the metal theft task force to deal with the issue.

But it’s not just rail lines that are at risk from theft. Businesses, as well as churches and schools, can be targeted by thieves for the high-value metals on the premises. Vacant properties in particular are appealing targets.

 

How can you reduce the risk of metal theft?

It all comes down to being prepared and aware. You should carry out an assessment of your business properties to understand where high-value metals are located, and to see whether there are any security vulnerabilities such as holes in fences, bins that provide a platform to climb to the roof, accessible drain pipes, scaffolding, or CCTV blind spots.

Cables, pipes, switches, window grates, drain covers, fencing, boilers, vehicle parts and much more can be at risk of theft.

If people are able to get in, locks, anti-climb paint, protective caging, barbed wire and automated security lighting or alarms can be essential deterrents if you don’t have on-site security.

Scrap metal dealers will make every effort to avoid dealing in stolen scrap. It is against the law for us to pay cash, or to deal with anyone who doesn’t have the right license, for example – and there have been crackdowns on dealers who don’t comply with this!

 

Protecting your home from scrap metal theft

Businesses and public utilities face a much larger risk from theft, but that’s not to say homeowners are immune. Say, for example, you’re storing scrap metal in a skip with a plan to sell it on later – it could be a target for thieves, so be sure to keep high value scrap metal such as copper out of sight, or take it down to the scrap yard at the earliest opportunity.

 

Don’t leave valuable scrap lying around

If you have scrap metal at home, or at a business property, waiting to go down to the yard, don’t delay – organise a scrap metal collection and get paid for your scrap.

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