Calls for vigilance towards lead and metal thefts

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Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Police in E District are urging local homeowners, community groups, churches, schools and premises managers to take steps to protect their buildings against lead and metal thefts. One way to protect your property against lead theft is to use anti-climb paint on your lead flashing. Also known as anti-vandal, anti burglar or anti-intruder paint this thick glutinous substance appears similar to smooth gloss paint however it does not dry. By applying this paint to lead flashing you are preventing would-be thieves from gaining a foothold on your property, making it practically impossible for them to steal. The paint also makes the lead less attractive to scrap metal dealers reducing the incentive for intruders. It’s also extremely difficult to remove from clothing, acting as a further deterrent. The general recommendation is that anti-climb paint be applied 2 metres above normal access height and is clearly signposted.

SelectaDNA Grease is another material which can be used to protect your property. This substance has been specially designed to protect outdoor materials such as lead roofing and copper piping, which are particularly vulnerable to theft. If a thief handles marked goods, SelectaDNA Grease instantly transfers onto his or her hands and clothing. The Police can then scan suspects with UV detection equipment to locate traces of the substance. The grey grease is almost impossible to remove and the unique DNA code irrefutably links the perpetrator to the crime scene. 100g of the Grease will mark approximately 25 linear metres using the 3cm wide paintbrush supplied in the kits. The coverage is based on normal operating temperatures of 18-22c. It is not recommended that the product is applied to frozen surfaces or during very cold temperatures.

If you have been unlucky enough to fall victim to lead theft in the past, one option you may want to consider for the future is switching to a lead substitute. The substitute is of no value to the criminal and is cheaper to purchase. Premises should also consider the installation of cctv and ensure their properties are well lit so that any intruder is easily spotted. A text alert scheme for metal dealers also operates within E District. Those registered in the scheme receive text alerts to make them aware of criminal activity in the area and also are provided with useful advice on protecting their property.

If you notice anything untoward in your neighbourhood, or see unknown vehicles outside premises or on neighbouring land in rural areas, note down any important details such as a description or vehicle registration and contact police immediately on 999. Police will follow up on your call and there is every possibility your prompt information could prevent a crime. If you would like further crime prevention advice or information on the text alert scheme please contact your local crime prevention officer on 0845 600 8000.

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