Power tools are the top item stolen from construction sites

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Power tools, bags of cement, and ladders are among the top 10 items reported stolen from construction sites, it has emerged…

A new survey from Yorkshire-based firm CCTV.co.uk has revealed the top 10 items stolen from construction sites during 2015. Perhaps unsurprisingly power tools top the chart, with bags of cement and ladders taking second and third place, respectively.

Other items reported stolen included plant machinery; wheelbarrows; building materials and other supplies; cables; metals; personal items such as phones, cash or radios; and hand tools.

Jonathan Ratcliffe, a spokesperson for the firm, said the impact of these crimes could be devastating for many contractors.

“A determined gang of thieves can steal thousands of pounds worth of decent quality gear from a single trader and put him out of a job for months,” he said.

“Even taking every precaution to safeguard your property, it only takes a minute with your guard down for your livelihood to be taken away.

“Buying stolen professional tools on the quiet isn’t a victimless crime.”

Theft of supplies, materials, and plant equipment is a problem in the UK, costing contractors significantly. Putting a stop to it requires vigilance and onsite security measures.

However, it is not just thieves coming onto site to steal that contractors need to be concerned about. CCTV.co.uk warned contractors should also be on the lookout for workers carrying out “inside jobs”.

Ratcliffe said: “Only a proportion of this kind of activity is ‘dead of night’ thieving. Instead building sites haemorrhage material through petty theft and stealing-to-order.”

In a bid to protect sites from theft, Ratcliffe said extreme measures might be needed. This could be something as simple as painting plant and equipment pink, as this makes the stolen goods harder to fence.

Scaffolding companies already employ a similar method, with each local firm using different colours to identify their products. This means stolen equipment can be easily identified.

“Of course, if everybody painted their gear pink, we’d all be back to square one, which is why technology such as smart water is so effective,” he said.

“Construction sites can be chaotic places, which make the ideal for the criminal.

“All it takes is equating crime just as high as safety, and we can save both personal livelihoods and company profits.”

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