Warning after rise in thefts from building sites and partially built houses

Police in Lisburn and Castlereagh have issued a warning after a number of reports of theft of metals and other items such as boilers from partially built or vacant properties.

Police are appealing for information.

They say the cost of not only replacing such items but the collateral damage their removal can cause can be devastating for homeowners, builders and contractors.

Police have increased their focus on preventative patrolling and are keen to increase awareness of how partially completed houses and building sites can be protected to reduce the risk of such thefts.

Crime Prevention Officer Shelley Grimes explains: “Construction companies are encouraged to take sensible precautions and have building sites well secured and monitored where possible.

“Basic steps to prevent theft and, in the unfortunate event where items are stolen and later recovered, we will be able to identify rightful owners include:

“Ensuring tools and high value items are removed from sites routinely at the end of the day or stored in a securely locked and alarmed container.

“Making sure any tools and high value items including boilers are visibly and covertly marked. Examples of covert marking include UV marking, DNA grease/marking and Datatag type marking.

“Ensuring larger items of machinery/plant left on site are fitted with immobilisers and tracking devices.

“If you notice anything untoward or see unknown vehicles outside premises note down details such as a description or vehicle registration and contact police immediately on 999 if you believe a crime is being committed.”

If you would like further crime prevention advice or information contact police on 101 or visit our website: www.psni.police.uk