THERE has been a "dramatic rise" in the number of thefts from construction sites and builders yards, it has been said.

Inspector Iwan Jones of the South Flintshire policing team has urged site and yard owners to take precautions to prevent opportunistic thefts.

He said: "Construction is going up at pace, but the price of building materials has gone up exponentially and the availability of some of those materials is really scarce.

"As such we have seen a dramatic rise in the number of thefts from builders yards and construction sites across Flintshire.

"There have been a number across North Wales as well.

"These are opportunist thefts; people will be driving by these sites and seeing materials there. "They then come late at night or early in the morning and take them.

"This includes things like insulation boards, timber, cement and concrete.

"We're asking people at these yards and construction sites to put their materials away at the close of business.

"Please call us if you see anything suspicious."

Inspector Jones said the thefts can have a huge effect on the livelihoods of victims.

"We're now seeing the restrictions opening up and people have more freedom," he said. "That means more people are now able to go about their business and are trying to make the living they haven't been able to over the last year and a half.

"So with the costs of materials going up and the lack of availability meaning they might not be able to replace them, these thefts do have an impact on them."

The North Wales Police website offers a wide range of general crime prevention advice for businesses looking to deter burglars and trespassers.

This includes:

  • Identifying any areas which may be vulnerable to forced entry and make them more secure
  • Making sure access points and any service doors are locked and secure when not in use
  • Making sure CCTV is operational and provides good quality images
  • Ensuring there is sufficient lighting, especially around loading areas
  • Keeping stockrooms locked and, where possible, keeping stock/materials out of sight