As the theft of roof lead continues to rise, what can homes and business do if faced with the problem and what are the authorities doing to address the issue.
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The theft of lead and other metal has increased by 16,000% in the last five years, due to the rising value of metal worldwide coupled with a downturn in the UK economy. Churches are among the most popular targets for thieves but the crime is also a growing problem with domestic roofs, restaurants, pubs and hotels, with public buildings also being targeted.
In the last year, Leeds has seen a significant increase in the number of lead related theft, with the roofs of many high profile buildings in the City being targeted by crooks on the prowl for valuable metal. As a result, many public and private sector organisations have been faced with thousands of pounds worth of damage, as thieves have stripped their commercial roofs of copper, lead tiles, other metals and flashings.
Darren Rickets, Managing Director of local roofing firm DPR Ltd commented, "Lead theft from roofs is becoming a real problem in Leeds. In these tough economic times, it seems that a minority are turning to crime, which must be really frustrating for business owners who have enough on their plate managing their business, let alone dealing with commercial roofing problems. Fortunately, most building insurance policies cover lead theft roof repairs up to a certain value and therefore customers can source a reputable roofer such as DPR Ltd to quickly repair the damage"
To combat the problem, a new police scheme is being started in Leeds to stop thieves targeting commercial roofs and religious buildings for scrap metal, lead or stone. The Faith Watch scheme is a partnership between communities, local churches, mosques and other faith organisations. It aims to boost communication between officers and the groups, and also increase the reporting of crime.
Police said metal and lead theft from the roofs of religious buildings was an increasing problem across West Yorkshire. Insp Richard Cawkwell, of West Yorkshire Police, said: "Any religious building, whether it is a church of a mosque, is an establishment for all of the community. Theft or any crime against a religious building does not just affect those at the place of worship but affects the wider community".
If you have been a victim of lead theft and require a reputable roofing company to undertake some lead work, contact DPR Ltd, on 0113 3350043 or email email@example.com
Northern Light Media