Metal theft

Metal theft can impact on all aspects life.  Thieves will target individuals and communities like residential properties and churches.  National and global businesses such as power and transport providers are also at risk.  It can cause inconvenience to services and costly repairs to property.

Protect your property

  • Remove items that can provide easy access onto building roofs.  Move items such as water butts, waste bins and tall trees away from the building.
  • Secure your ladders, tools and machinery. Read more on sheds, outbuildings and tools security.
  • Cut back tall trees and vegetation which could provide a screen for intruders to hide behind. Read more on garden security.
  • Consider installing security lighting to make it more difficult for intruders to conceal themselves.  Read more on security lighting.
  • Ensure the perimeter of your property is secure.  Read more on fence and gate security.
  • Apply anti-climb paint to drain pipes and roof guttering.  Apply above a height of two metres. Display signage that states you are using anti-climb paint.
  • Protect the lower section of lightning conductor ribbons using a metal cage or sheath fixed to the building.
  • Use property marking products to make items identifiable and less desirable to steal. Read more on property registration andmarking.
  • Consider alternatives to metal such as lead on roofs.


As well as the above, consider the following security measures for church buildings:

  • Keep doors and gates locked and bolted when not in use and keep the number of key holders to a minimum.
  • Protect windows by fitting wire mesh or polycarbonate covering.
  • Keep cellar flaps secured.  If no longer in use, consider having the entrance blocked up.
  • Keep valuable items out of site in a safe and do not keep cash on the premises.
  • Keep the churchyard well maintained to give the appearance of regular attendance.
  • Consider dusk till dawn lighting.  Read more on security lighting.
  • Consider a roof alarm or intruder alarm.  Read more on alarms.
  • Encourage wardens and local residents to make frequent visits (at irregular times). 


As well as the above, consider the following security measures for businesses:

  • Keep doors and gates secure when not in use and keep keyholders to a minimum.
  • Restrict vehicle access to the property.
  • Dispose of any scrap materials and equipment as soon as possible.
  • Cover up cabling or contain it within alarmed containers or by using ground anchors.
  • Encourage staff to challenge people that they do not know and report any suspicions.
  • Ensure your insurance cover is adequate and up to date in regards to metal theft.


Criminal can also target vehicles for catalytic converters

  • Where possible, park vehicles in a garage.  Read more on garage security.
  • If your catalytic converter is ‘bolt on’ consider having the bolts welded shut.
  • Etch your converter with a serial number. This will help us track your converter if it is stolen. Read more on catalytic converters.
  • Consider fencing around vehicles.
  • For businesses with many vehicles or a fleet of vehicles, consider defensive parking.  This is where you block high clearance vehicles with low clearance ones to restrict the access underneath.

The community

Find your local Neighbourhood Watch Scheme

Report it

If you suspect metal theft is taking place, call 101 or report it online. 

In an emergency, always call 999

Call 101 if you see any suspicious activity, particularly vans or workmen between 6pm and 8am.

More help and support

For further advice or recommendations, contact our Crime Prevention Advisors

This contact is for crime prevention advice only.  Please do not use this email address to report crime.  Call 101, or 999 in an emergency.

Neighbourhood Watch

Safer Place of Worship 

24 May 21 2:33 PM

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