Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Flashes of rage!

Total destruction

Needless damage

Kindly left with a scrap of lead...

This year I have been subjected to a two thefts that have made me left me in a rage for being a persistent victim of crime.

In January a residential property I have for letting purposes was vacant, the new estates agents decided that to market the property they would apply the usual noticeboards, this resulted in lot's of adverse attention on a visibly vacant property.  As a consequence of this highlighted lack of tenants, one day on a daily visit I was shocked to discover that overnight the property had been forced open.  Moreover the boiler and all the copper piping had been stolen costing over £5000 to replace.

Only 3 weeks ago during daylight hours (around 13:00) two black youths climbed onto the roof of the training academy I own, to the rear of my main security business head office at 57 Green Lane.  They proceeded to rip away the lead flashing surrounding the edge of the flat roof (see images above), whilst onlookers watched in amazement, but did nothing to stop them.  One kind shopkeeper who came out of his shop to collect a package and noticed the crime taking place, displayed more concern.  He shouted and the miscreants and ran to our offices informing my staff of the situation.  Our Office Manager called the Police whilst i ran to the scene to investigate.

The youths had already taken off with the stolen lead by the time I arrived and must of had a nearby vehicle.  Despite a large number of people being near the crime scene few offered to act as witnesses when the police arrived. The police arrived promptly within 10 minutes and took details of the crime scene and witness accounts.  They also searched for the youths via police car mobile patrols of the area.  Unfortunately the youths were long gone....

I am concerned about the significant increase in theft especially theft involving metal objects, seen to be valuable due to the high price for lead, copper and brass contemporaneously.

If we are to curb such crimes we must be more vigilant as a community;

  •  If we see a crime in action it is important we act immediately by reporting it using the emergency 999 facility.  
  • Instead of using lead flashing ask your contractors to use lead substitutes such as zinc.
  • Contractors working on buildings in the borough should be asked to use lead substitutes at planning stage.
  • Legislation should be in place ensuring scrap-merchants are required to obtain photographic ID and proofs of address for people selling scrap. Fiscal penalties should be applied to scrap-merchants who fail to undertake mandatory vetting processes.
If the scrap industry continues to be unregulated the increasing metal theft that has resulted in drain covers being stolen at cost to local council's, Schools closed due to loss of lead flashing causing water damage and requiring immediate building repair (Chadwell Heath primary recently was forced to shut for two days) and the most pernicious theft of brass plaques from a graveyard in Hainault last year.

1 comment:

  1. Our church (St. Paul's Hainault) has been a victim to lead theft. Very frustrating...