Metal Theft Down by 70% Since Scrap Metal Dealers Act [Infographic]


Metal theft has been a problem across the UK for many years, with our team here at JTC Roofing witness to some of the devastating effects metal roofing theft in particular can have on a building and its owners. However, recent statistics we have collected from 28 police constabularies across the UK show that since the introduction of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act in 2013, reported theft incidents have been on the decline.

Since 2013, metal theft has dropped by over 70% across the UK – with significant drops in reported incidents of up to 89% in Leicester, London, and North Wales. Metal theft is typically sorted into infrastructure-related theft, which includes service cabling, railway metal, and roofing lead, and non-infrastructure-related metal theft. This category covers the theft of metal not connected to services, including gates or fencing, redundant metal, and even war memorial plaques.

Scrap Metal Dealers Act

After pressure from local councils, the Scrap Metal Dealers Act was introduced in 2013 to tackle these crimes as figures had risen to a high of 44,258 incidents reported in the UK. The act requires all dealers to hold a license in order to trade metal, and allows councils more power to deal with illegal metal trading operations. The stricter regulations on trading deals and increased enforcement from local constabularies has been attributed to the massive drop in reported incidents since 2013, with only 11,578 recorded incidents in 2015/16 – a huge 70% difference.

At JTC Roofing, our team have helped to repair or replace roofing for customers across the UK, with lead roofing a prime target for metal theft due to the high resale value. You can read our case study on Belton Church here, where we replaced their stolen lead roof with long-lasting steel.

Metal theft was costing millions in repairs to local businesses, landlords, contractors, and the council alike, so the reduction in theft incidents not only protects property, but has also allowed the council to make significant savings.

At JTC Roofing, we provide repairs and replacement services for a huge range of buildings, from cathedrals and churches, to conservatories and office buildings. We offer first rate deals on lead, copper, zinc and stainless steel roofs, with a free survey and quote for every project.

For more information, get in touch with JTC Roofing Contractors Ltd today and we’ll be happy to find the right solution for your needs.


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