Sheffield is proudly known as ‘the capital of steel and cutlery making’ and the city where the recipe of industrial stainless steel was discovered. Unfortunately, the Capital of Steel along with Doncaster and Rotherham are also statistically the worst affected areas for metal theft in the UK according to the South Yorkshire police.
Metal theft is a widespread crime affecting businesses, homeowners and ordinary residents alike. In pursuit of easy money, culprits steal manhole covers, gutters, gates, windows, and even roofs made of non-ferrous metals and iron. Anything that is poorly screwed, loose or left unattended, may end up at an unlicensed scrap metal recycling. Even churches, historic buildings, and monuments suffer from theft. Hundreds of historically important items and even works of art have been stolen, causing irreparable losses both from an economic and cultural heritage perspective. According to police reports, more than 100,000 cases of metal theft UK-wide are registered annually and about 40% of these are from private households and small businesses. Things like copper rainwater gutters and even nickel covered gates have been known to be targeted. Prices for copper, one of the most valuable of scrap metals, can go up to £4,000 per ton, so it comes as no surprise that crooks prowl around looking for metal stuff to snatch. In addition to individual households, businesses, too, are potentially at risk of becoming a target of unscrupulous criminals especially factories that have unused (and therefore, poorly guarded) workshops, farms and car repair shops. It is much more expensive to recover the loss of stolen equipment or infrastructure elements than taking pre-emptive measures to prevent the loss in the first place. Whilst there is no substitution for vigilance, fitting a surveillance camera (such as a Hikivion Darkfighter or Easy-IP 4.0 series) would definitely be a good idea! Not only they reduce the risk of theft but also greatly assist in the investigation of such incidents.