Victims of UK metal crime are now being paid over £1million a week by insurers after an increase in the number of people being targeted by thieves.
According to the Association of British Insurers anyone who has been a victim of scrap metal thefts are now being paid out. Thieves steal anything from train cables to sculptures which is costing the UK economy £770 million a year.
Every week there are around 1,000 separate incidents reported of metal being stolen. Nearly 300 tonnes of metal is stolen which is the equivalent of the weight of 300 cars and these thefts also result in around 117 hours a day delay to train services.
The continued rise in metal thefts is due to high metal prices, the widespread accessibility of metals such as copper and lead along with difficulties of recovering stolen metals.
Steps are being made by the Association of British Insurers to find ways of tackling the issue of metal thieves in the hope to bring down the amount that is being stolen on a daily basis and to limit the amount of money being wasted.
Nick Starling, the ABI’s Director of General Insurance, commented on the thefts: “Metal thieves are putting lives at risk, causing expensive damage and massive disruption. From delayed train journeys to loss of telephone and internet connections, to damaged churches, most people are affected by this crime.
“We support Government action to make it harder to sell on stolen metal and tougher penalties for offenders. Insurers have a key role to play, not only compensating those insured, but in helping their customers take sensible security measures to reduce this ever-present threat. This is why we are working with the Government to crackdown on metal thefts”.
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By Amanda Bainbridge