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Rise in metal theft linked to gas explosions

12 May 2011

The dramatic increase in theft of copper and lead from properties over the past year, thanks to a sharp rise in its scrap value, has resulted not only in costly property damage but life-threatening situations.

In March an explosion in an empty flat in a three-storey Liverpool Housing Trust property in Runcorn was blamed on copper piping being stolen. The following month a blast in a house in Mirfield, West Yorkshire was attributed to thieves who stole copper pipe that had attached a gas meter to the boiler. And in January an explosion in a Battersea housing block was also blamed on thieves. More recently a school in Larkhall, Strathclyde was forced to close when thieves took copper water pipes from the basement. And vacant property is particularly vulnerable – in March a man was arrested for targeting a series of unoccupied buildings in Chipping Norton when stolen copper piping was found in his van.
To combat the problem SitexOrbis has launched Videofied, a cost-effective portable intruder alarm that can be used anywhere. As soon as movement is detected, an alarm is triggered and the system automatically captures a ten second recording. The video footage is immediately transmitted to trained operators at the SitexOrbis BS 5979 CAT II 24/7 Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) where agreed protocols are actioned. This reduces false alarms and the associated call-out charges. The system does not require a mains power or phone line and has up to four years’ battery life. Alarm responses can be accessed online through Aura, a web-based, workflow management and reporting system allowing customers to track progress remotely.

One of our satisfied clients described it as “the fourth emergency service”. 08000 830 850

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