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Metal Theft

Tips on how to help prevent metal theft.

What do thieves mainly target?

  • copper lightning conductors
  • lead and copper rainwater pipes
  • bronze statues and metal garden ornaments
  • iron gates
  • church bells
  • catalytic converters from cars and commercial vehicles

Preventing metal theft:

  • Keep gates locked and install strong fences.
  • You can grow prickly hedges around property boundaries which should be kept well pruned to maximise visibility.
  • Store objects such as water butts, wheelie bins and garden furniture away from the building, to help prevent access to your roof.
  • Restrict vehicle access where possible.
  • Store ladders and tools in a secure place.
  • Check your roof regularly for any missing lead.
  • Consider installing security lighting.
  • Use security and forensic marking to mark metal goods.
  • Install lighting and CCTV to help deter would-be thieves, and check it regularly to make sure it's still working. Check with your local authority to see if permission is required.
  • Report incidents of suspicious activity to the police and if possible record vehicle details and descriptions of the people involved.

Legal disposal of scrap metal:

  • You should dispose of scrap metal regularly. Thieves will use the excuses of "can I take your scrap away mate?" to have a good look around and assess the vulnerabilities of your site.
  • Use a legitimate waste carrier to remove scrap from your site. Legal waste carriers are registered and licensed by the Environment Agency or alternatively ask your council for information on approved sites