The construction industry in the UK is prone to criminal acts. These acts would often include theft, vandalism, safety, and rogue security. With theft and vandalism alone, it was reported that the industry loses a staggering amount of £400 million each year. Authorities have issued a warning to companies to protect their properties by means of several proper theft-prevention methods.
There are numerous factors why crimes in a construction site take place. Factors like nature of the work, hiring of temporary workers, or even the location of the site can fully be at risk if not foreseen thoroughly. It may be difficult to implement a site-access policy because of the constant changes of the factors day by day.
Common crimes in construction sites
According to the survey conducted by Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), about 92% construction sites suffer from theft. This is, by far, the most common crime that occur in the industry every month.
Plant theft is the best contributor on the list. A current estimate from Allianz Cornhill costs the UK £1 million each week and continuously increase as most of these plant machineries remain unregistered. This means that it isn’t only easy to steal items from a driven plant, it also lacks proper identification which makes it difficult for the police determining whether or not an item is stolen.
The plant and equipment have the lowest recovery rates which makes it more vulnerable. It is less than 10% compared to motor vehicles with recovery rates at 55 to 60%.
Through the help of Construction Industry Theft Solutions (CITS) and the endless efforts of the police, they made a policy to register all plant and equipment with the Construction Equipment Security and Registration scheme (CESAR) to help track the items. This will help prevent and reduce risks in building sites.
Some big plant machines have a tracking system and can be located if they are moved. Criminals learned this and resume to steal parts of the machines and is in the market for those now.
A Tip Hammer for a digger, for example, cost around £10.000 and can be sold on the black market for about £2000 to £3000, a good chunk of cash for someone.
Next on the list is the metal theft. From electricity cables, to metal from machinery, copper cables as well as fabric of buildings, cost a fortune when being sold. According to the Local Government Association (LGA), metal theft cost the economy around £770 million a year. But reports confirmed that metal theft had a dramatic drop of 35% through the help of The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.
Another endemic problem for construction sites is vandalism. Site damage and graffiti works on walls are much known on construction sites.
Although the overall vandalism acts every year are just under 2 million, excluding unreported incidents, victims are concerned about the costs and impact it produces. Just like theft, vandalism is a common problem for construction sites as it amounts 92% of the common problems of the construction industry.
According to GOV.UK, Commercial waste is the second largest waste type contributing to fly-tipping incidents in England. Almost 9 per cent of incidents in England in 2014/15 were of commercial waste.
Lack of security is the main reason why fly tipping happens. People throw rubbish anywhere, making a construction look like a dump site. An estimated cost of £50 to £150 million is spent every year. According to National Fly-Tipping Prevention Group (NFTPG), there are three main reasons why fly-tipping happen: 1) financial gain or saving by the perpetrator; 2) a lack of waste disposal facilities or access to them; and 3) laziness and an attitude that someone else will clear up the waste.
Construction site crimes varies significantly as they occur. However, the most common and probably continuously increasing is theft and vandalism. Studies show that construction workers are aware that such crimes occur in their workplace.
Because these crimes happen, most companies lose more than £100,000 a year. London, as well as the North West and South East of England suffer the highest losses.
Watch how a construction site in Croydon was transformed in a dump hole in only 4 days. It cost over £50,000 to be cleaned off.
Youtube video link here: https://youtu.be/cpxnGMVZWuk
Hiring a security company
The best way to combat these crimes is to hire a security company. Make sure that all security guards are registered with Security Industry Authority (SIA) is a pre-requisite upon hiring to avoid illegitimate security companies.
Using IT systems
Every employee to work in the industry should be background checked, identity checked, qualification checked and ensure they’re all registered in the database.
Using an updated employee database system will help track people who go in and out at the construction site. Electronic entrance systems connected to the employee database will also prevent illegal access.
Enhanced CCTVs are also recommended especially for big construction sites.
Secure safe storage
To avoid theft in the workplace, there must be a secured storage where all plant and equipment be stored. The storage should also have improved lighting to easily know whenever someone tries to steal such.
The items should also be registered to help recover the items if ever the crime will occur.
Call us for a demonstration with our dogs on your site. We can show you how the dogs are working and how they are trained to socialize, to be nice with nice people and to protect when it is needed.
Call now and one of our security experts can offer you a free security assessment.
T: 0208 6371406
You will also receive Free of charge the booklet: Construction Site Security Tips by Ray Zamfir, the managing director and security consultant at Guard Dog Security Ltd.
Guard Dog Security Team