Metal thefts across Sussex are on the rise, according to Sussex Police.
In a statement, Sussex Police said residents and visitors to the county can play their part in preventing the crime.
It said: “With an increase in the commodity price of metals due to increased demand and shortage of supply, the problem of metal thefts across the country has grown.
“Metal and cable theft is not a victimless crime. It can have a knock-on effect on our communities and cause disruption to people’s lives, with a hugely negative impact on public services such as schools, communications, power and transport.
“Sussex Police work together with partner agencies such as British Transport Police, Environment Agency, VOSA and local authorities (Weights and Measures), along with specialist personnel from utility companies like British Telecom and Scottish Power, to tackle and prevent metal theft.
“Residents and visitors across Sussex can play their part by remaining vigilant and reporting suspicious behaviour to police by calling 101 or 999 if a crime is occurring.
Sussex Police also said you can play your part in preventing and protecting your property from this kind of crime, by following the top tips below:
– Remain vigilant and report anything suspicious, as metal theft can occur any time during the day or night.
– If you see someone on a roof without scaffolding - report it to the police via 101 and record the details of any vehicle being used. This information could greatly help police should there be any such thefts in your area.
– Keep an eye on any nearby schools, places of worship and disused buildings and report anyone you may see trespassing or acting suspiciously – particularly on the roof of the buildings.
– Where possible, restrict vehicle access to buildings by locking gates and ensure that any perimeter fences are secure.
– Consider removing any means of transporting metal away from your property such as wheelbarrows and wheelie bins. Keep these items in a secure place.
– Ensure that ladders are stored in a secure place and out of sight of any passers-by. Ideally, keep them chained or secured to a wall in an outbuilding such as a garage or shed.
– Consider removing any water butts or garden furniture that could give access to the roof of a property.
– Don’t leave any scrap metal you may have such as copper piping, outside a property in full view of passers-by.
– If you have copper or lead on show at your property – consider painting it black so it doesn’t stand out.