Copper Thieves Target Glasgow Churches
Thursday, 17 November 2011
Copper thieves are targeting churches in Glasgow.
Soaring copper prices have led to a significant rise in thefts at places of worship in the city, where thieves are snatching door knockers, spires and copper on roofs.
They are even stealing the copper piping that supplies gas for heating systems, leaving congregations throughout the city in the cold during the winter months.
CCTV security specialist Netwatch has observed the trend, and claims the repair and replacement bills are leaving churches across the city thousands of pounds out of pocket.
Niall Kelly, founder and technical director of Netwatch, said: "Copper is a valuable commodity at the moment and organised gangs are targeting electricity sub stations, railway lines and wind farms.
"But it seems places of worship are on the hit list as well.
"Thieves are stripping copper off the buildings and ripping out the copper piping of heating systems.
"It's becoming a major problem for church leaders, but also a challenge for the authorities.
"The main problem being that a white van man can turn up to a metal scrapyard with copper cables and piping in the back of his van and convert into cash, with almost no questions asked."
Niall Kelly said a growing number of churches are now investing in remote CCTV security measures to counter the threat from the copper gangs.
He added: "The losses for church groups are simply unsustainable and we are now seeing a growing number of them throughout the area investing in security.
"We can provide 24 hour remote security, with intervention specialists who watch in real time as an intruder tries to break in to a properly and issue personalised audio warnings to deter the would-be thieves, giving church leaders peace of mind that their sites are secure and protected from the increasing threat."
NOTES TO EDITOR:
Established in the Republic of Ireland in 2003 by David Walsh, Group CEO, and Niall Kelly, Director of Technology, Netwatch currently employs 90 staff. The company's team of leading security experts has developed a bespoke 'next generation' asset protection solution. Netwatch currently monitors security for more than 1,500 blue-chip businesses worldwide as well as a significant proportion of the world's premium residential properties.