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Plant Theft Costing Uk Construction Industry Over 16 Billion Year

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Rogue thieves are draining the life out of the UK construction industry, with crime costing businesses £75 million every year.

Research carried out by CCTV security specialist, Netwatch, found that crime, when coupled with costs such as plant replacement fees, hire of replacement equipment, loss of business and increased insurance premiums, is setting the construction industry back a staggering £1.6 billion a year.

Niall Kelly, Founder and Technical Director of Netwatch, explained: "This is a major problem for the construction business. It is an absolutely astounding amount of money for the industry to be losing each year because of mindless thieves.

"You find a lot of raw metals like copper, aluminium and lead on construction sites, and the value of these materials has seen a huge rise over the past 12 months thanks to the fluctuating economy.

"With a lot of valuable plant and equipment like this on site at any given time security is an issue - more thieves are targeting sites across the UK and Ireland, particularly those which are in rural areas and far away from the main road.

"Even the best security guards can only be in one place at a time making it very difficult to deter thieves and vandals."

Netwatch's CCTV system alerts its Communications Hub if any activity is detected on a construction site when there should be no one around. A live audio warning is issued immediately, which often results in the would-be thief being scared off.

Mr Kelly added: "When the Communications Hub issues a live audio warning, the intruder is taken unawares and the usual response is to immediately leave the site.

"We have seen clients go from losing thousands, or even millions ever year, to almost zero losses through theft or damage since having Netwatch's cameras installed on their site.

"We recently had an incident where criminals arrived outside a Netwatch protected site with a specialist stripping machine in the back of their vehicle. Their intention was clearly to remove the wiring from the unoccupied buildings and strip the copper out to sell it. Luckily our communication hub intervened before they could go any further, and the gang was subsequently apprehended by police."






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.