Protect against metal thefts - Ripon police warning

Lock gates, install security lights, and plant prickly shrubs around perimeter fences to ward off metal thieves, Ripon police have urged.

City police officers have encouraged homeowners and businesses in rural areas around Ripon to protect their property from criminals targeting the lucrative metal trade.

The warning comes as the high price of copper and lead makes metal wires, drainpipes and gates very desirable for criminals, and although metal thefts have fallen in the district since September people still need to take care to keep their homes and businesses safe, Ripon police’s Inspector Rob Thorpe said.

Officers have also seen an increase in thefts from vans and want to encourage tradesmen and van drivers to remove valuable tools from their vehicles, or mark them to help police identify stolen items.

To protect property against metal thefts:

• Use CCTV, alarms and security lighting

• Check fences and gates for gaps or weaknesses, and keep gates locked

• Plant thick prickly shrubs around perimeters to keep intruders out

• Keep hedges and trees trimmed so you can see around your property easily

• Use anti climb paint on drainpipes, keep ladders securely and remove wheelie bins and garden furniture so thieves cannot climb onto roofs

• Take away wheelbarrows and wheelie bins so thieves cannot use them to transport your metal

• Be a good neighbour and look out for unusual vehicles in your area