Metal Thefts affecting Waterways Groups

Issue date: 6th June 2012

Insurers, boat clubs, local authorities, historic building owners and a wide range of waterways organisations are reporting an increase in incidences of theft, and attempted theft, of plant, equipment and anything made of metal. There has also be a steep rise in the theft of outboard engines and other equipment from all types of boats left on moorings. The Environment Agency has recently suffered the theft of ten four-tonne metal dam boards from a yard in Norfolk (further information on the Recycle Metals website.  Premises without a permanent human presence are a particular vulnerable target for such thefts.  Boat clubs, waterway societies and others with premises containing equipment are urged to ensure that every precaution is taken against become a victim of such crimes.

Security precautions to consider include:

  • Make sure no metal property, even scrap, is visible on your land – keep it hidden and locked away.
  • Secure your gates by welding a nut onto the hanging bracket so thieves can’t lift them off.
  • Metal thieves will also seize upon any plant, machinery or vehicles that are not secure. Use chains, ground anchors and door locks to keep them safe.
  • Mark your property, using data tagging, and engrave your postcode where practicable.
  • Register your property with  –  it costs nothing to do so, and may help property retrieval in the event of theft.
  • Check that you are adequately insured.