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Metal theft campaign relaunched

Published Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Residents and businesses are being urged to do everything they can to stop metal thieves by Enfield Council.

The council has spent more than £300,000 in the past year replacing stolen metal from roads and a further £25,000 has been spent on replacing metal fitting stolen from parks since 2010.

Now the council is warning residents and businesses that the significant rise in the value of metal, driven in part by demand in China, means portable items such as ladders and children’s bicycles are on many metal thieves wish lists and it makes sense to mark your possessions so they can be returned if they are stolen and consequently recovered.

Residents are advised to:
 • Engrave your name on your ladders, tools, large pieces of equipment such as cement mixers, mitre saws, bikes, ladders etc.
• Use an engraving bit if you have one or enlist a local tradesman who can assist.
• The marks or engravings should be prominent, easily seen and deep enough so that they cannot be sanded off.
• Look out for e.g. thieves posing as council/utility workers.
• Use a padlock on metal items such as ladders if you are going to be out of sight of them for a while. Opportunist thieves will steal any unattended items such as ladders leaning up against a house, while you briefly nip round to the back garden. Consider taking them with you if they will be unattended for a while. Even secured items such as bikes and ladders may be targeted.
• Make your tools unattractive to steal. Paint them with a bright colour/spray. Beware that these marks can be easily removed with paint thinner so a more permanent marking should be considered.
• Do not put items out that would encourage metal thieves to go onto your front garden e.g. items that may indicate you are having work done in your property.
• Dispose of unwanted items properly. If possible keep them somewhere out of sight until they are collected.
• Do not buy stolen tools. If they are cheap, from someone you don’t know or are offered for sale in the street, they are probably stolen.
• Keep a photographic record of expensive equipment.
• Make sure you don’t leave tools or other valuable in a vehicle overnight
As well as issuing advice and guidance to residents, Enfield Council and the Metropolitan Police have been working to reduce metal theft in the borough and have been conducting roadside Stop and Search checks on waste carriers, unannounced inspections on premises of concern and more street inspections.

Any items found during these inspections cannot be returned to the rightful owners if they are not marked and reported as stolen.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Chris Bond, said: “The effects of metal theft are far reaching and a vast number of people will have been affected by it. Whether it is as a result of danger from removed gullies or manholes, cancelled sports events because of vandalised park changing rooms.

"Residents and commuters are inconvenienced by the theft of metal from railway tracks and fly tipping often happens when metal thieves dump the unwanted bits of the items they have stolen.
“We want to help catch the idiots responsible for committing metal theft but also encourage residents to take care of their metal goods. You wouldn’t leave a brand new mobile phone in your front garden but many people wouldn’t think twice about leaving an expensive metal ladder there, but that’s an open invitation to metal thieves, and an opportunity they are unlikely to pass up on."
For more information on how to register your metal goods visit the immobilise website, The National Property Register which helps police identify the owner of lost and stolen property, simplifies insurance claims and helps combat the sale of stolen gadgets and valuables
If you witness Metal Theft taking place, contact the Police by telephoning 999, non-urgent reports can be made to the Police by telephoning 101.
Contact Enfield Council’s Environmental Protection Team on 020 8379 1000 to
• Houses being used to store metal/waste
• Unregistered scrap metal dealers/mobile collectors.

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