In a recent post we published about protecting vacant property, we mentioned how copper piping and wiring and lead flashing can attract thieves, and to ensure steps are taken to protect any that is on the property.

There are various means of protecting a property from metal theft, which we are discussing in this post.

Metal theft remains a constant problem in the UK that causes a huge amount of disruption, and at great cost.  According to the National Police Chiefs Council, formally the Association of Chief Police Officers, it costs the UK economy £770 million a year with thieves mainly targeting church roofs, railway lines, community centres, schools, construction sites, manhole covers and even war memorials and plaques in cemeteries.

Copper is one of the most sought-after metals. Found in electrical wiring, guttering, downpipes and flashing it can be quickly stripped, leaving a trail of destruction including loss of power and communication channels.

So how to combat the problem of metal theft?

Motion Sensors

Motion sensors (also known as motion detectors) should form the core of your anti-metal theft security system. Sensors make use of various technologies to detect movement, upon which they send a signal that alerts you and / or your monitoring centre to a potential threat. Some systems can be programmed to prompt a CCTV camera to start recording when motion is detected so that evidence is available should it be required.


CCTV offers incredible flexibility these days and is one of the best ways of monitoring a property both inside and out. Integrate CCTV with a motion sensor and an alarm system and you have a sophisticated multi-layer package. When triggered, cameras transmit footage either to a control centre or any internet enabled device, allowing whoever is monitoring the property to take the appropriate action, and record the footage as evidence.


A locking system that relies on master key access will assist in protecting premises from any form of theft, including metal theft. A master key system allows for access all areas with one key whilst the locks securely protect the premises from the perimeter boundaries inwards. Access can be limited to key holders on a hierarchy basis. Add an alarm, CCTV and motion detector system and you really do have a strong security force against any would-be metal thief.

If you are looking for solutions to prevent metal theft, talk to the experts at Barry Bros Security. Whatever type of premises you manage, we can find a solution to help protect it. We’re centrally based near Paddington Station and welcome enquiries in person, as well as by telephone and email.