Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Materials theft warning for contractors

Contractors face rising insurance premiums if they fail to do more to stop materials theft, insurers warned last week.
Sterling Insurance Group head of commercial insurance Geoff Doyle said claims for theft had rocketed over the last year.

"We and other insurers are experiencing significantly increased claims activity including six figure losses on metals which historically have not been particularly attractive to thieves and have therefore had limited security and protection.

"It is crucial that business and property owners remain vigilant when it comes to protecting their metal stocks and trade process components."

Materials theft has risen by as much as 120% in some parts of the UK over the past year.

International metals prices have rocketed in response to demand from boom economies like India and China.

The rail network has been hardest hit. In 2006/7 Network Rail reported more than 1,000 incidents of cable theft, costing it more than £4M and causing 243,717 delay minutes.

This was significantly up from the year before when there were just 50,021 minutes delay due to cable theft.

In Ukraine, thieves took an entire 11m long, steel bridge weighing 1t that spanned the Svalyavka river.

British Transport Police Assistant Chief Constable of the Paul Crowther said metal theft was the biggest challenge faced by his force after terrorism.

His teams are employing a series of hi-tech and traditional measures to deal with the problem.

Crowther appealed to contractors to report the movements of suspicious individuals.

- If you have information about stolen metals to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or the British Transport Police dedicated metals theft hotline on 0800 405 040.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.