COPPER thefts are on the increase across North Antrim as well as other parts of Northern Ireland, police have revealed.
With scrap metal fetching almost record prices, the opportunity for thieves has seldom been greater.
Over the course of the last six months the recorded number of copper thefts has risen, according to a police spokesperson.
The theft of copper water tanks and piping from a property can cause significant water damage to a building which may cost thousands of pounds to repair.
Judith Lavery, PSNI Crime Prevention Officer for Balymoney & Moyle, explains that vacant houses can in many cases be a target for these crimes and offers some crime prevention advice on how best you secure your premises:
“It is always ideal to try to make your properly look occupied as much as is reasonably practical.
“You should ensure that your doors and windows are of a robust standard and that they are locked at all times when the property is vacant.
“Good outdoor lighting can be an extremely effective tool to deter and detect a potential thief. Internally it is a suggestion to use timer switchers to turn on lights or even radios when darkness falls.
“Keep curtains open in daytime as by closing them you are drawing attention to the fact the house is empty.
“Ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your house even by occasionally parking their car in your driveway. It is also a good idea to link in with your local Neighbourhood Watch for additional assistance.
“Keep the lawn and the outside of the premises neat and tidy and trim back any plants that burglars could hide behind.
“Make sure that there are no weak spots around your property where a burglar could gain easy access. Try to ensure that passers-by can still see the front of your house so that a burglar can’t work without being seen.
“Visible burglar alarms can also put off burglars and should always be switched on when the house is empty.
“If you are trying to sell the house, always ensure that all your viewers are legitimate and passed onto you via appropriate channels. Be wary of callers with no previous appointment.
“By following this simple advice you can create an environment which can deter a criminal.”
For further Crime Prevention please contact Judith on 0845 600 8000 x63915.