Bundaberg Police are urging the community to lock up in order to prevent theft after a spate of incidents at construction sites recently.
Police from the Wide Bay Burnett District (Gympie, Maryborough, Bundaberg Patrol Groups) are urging construction site workers, builders, contractors, business owners and community groups to take the time and review the security of their respective construction sites, building sites, storage compounds and shipping containers that are being utilised to store power tools, hand tools and building equipment.
Between July 1 last year to February 28 there were 48 break and enters of construction sites and shipping containers reported to police.
Most of these offences occurred over weekends when there was no one on site.
Primarily power tools, hand tools and machinery are being stolen from these sites and shipping containers across the Wide Bay Burnett which costs builders, contractors and construction workers vast amounts of money every year.
The cost of tool theft is more than the hardship of replacement.
The flow-on effect can include downtime at work and increases in insurance premiums too.
Tips in preventing theft from construction sites:
- CCTV – Consider hiring/purchasing CCTV cameras for the site. Displaying signage advertising the existence of these cameras can also provide a deterrent to theft.
- Security company – Developers of larger estates or construction sites may wish to consider engaging the services of a security company to conduct patrols of the estate or site.
- Fencing – Temporary fencing can help deter offenders from stealing or damaging property.
- Power and lighting – If street lighting has not yet been activated, consider placing some form of temporary lighting illuminating the front and footpath areas of the site.
- Coordinated deliveries – Where possible, coordinate deliveries of materials and goods to coincide with their use or installation. Most theft occurs when items are left unattended or unsecured overnight, on weekends or for extended periods.
- On site storage – Consider placing an on-site storage container or compound for secure storage of tools and materials which is under lighting, secured with locks, window grills, behind temporary fencing and covered by CCTV.
- Marking materials – All materials, power tools, hand tools and machinery should be marked with the company / builder name or building site lot number to prove ownership and keep a record of identifying features, serial numbers and purchase details for insurance purposes. An identification method can include taking photographs, engraving, mobile phone apps or even tracking devices and keep an inventory for later reference if required.
Lock up stage
- Windows and door locks – At lock-up stage, the building can become more vulnerable to theft. Ensure that all doors and windows have adequate locks fitted and that all locks are engaged when the site is unoccupied.
- Alarms – If fitted, have the alarm system activated and operating as soon as possible. Consider a monitored alarm providing a notification service.
Fit out stage
- Appliances – Fit-out of major appliances and white goods should be delayed until the last possible opportunity.
- High risk items – Valuable and transportable items such as air conditioning units and compact hot water services should be secured in a manner making them difficult to steal. Consider using special bonding adhesives or tamper proof metal fasteners to make quick removal more difficult.
- Coordinated handover – Make arrangements to ensure a quick handover once the construction is completed. An unoccupied newly built house can be a target for opportunistic thieves.
These tips are designed to help construction site workers, builders, contractors, business owners and community groups to reduce the likelihood of building site theft and reduce the cost and inconvenience theft can cause.
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