BOILER theft from Swansea Council properties has been reduced to zero over a six-month period following the introduction of specialist technology.
(Media-Newswire.com) - BOILER theft from Swansea Council properties has been reduced to zero over a six-month period following the introduction of specialist technology.
Due to incidents of metal theft in both void and tenanted housing, the council decided to mark boilers, radiators and copper piping across its housing stock with a DNA-based substance to help the police identify them as stolen if they turned up somewhere for re-sale.
Products like boilers were also logo-marked with the council crest and given a special security label that's almost impossible to remove.
From the start of May to the end of October in 2012, 47 boilers had been stolen. In the same period in 2013, following the introduction of the specialist technology, the figure was zero.
Swansea Council worked closely with South Wales Police and an expert company called Selectramark on the scheme.
Cllr June Burtonshaw, Swansea Council's Cabinet Member for Place, said: "The theft of boilers and other metal products from our properties had become a problem, so this specialist technology was put in place to deter theft for re-sale purposes.
"It had been tricky in the past for the police to find out where these stolen items originated from when they turned up in scrap metal dealers for re-sale, but now this technology means our products can be traced back to individual properties because of their special markings.
"We'd hoped this scheme would've had an impact but it's proven to be a terrific deterrent over the last six months or so and long may that trend continue. It's saving the council a lot of money which can now instead be invested in services for residents."
The theft of metal, copper and gas boilers from empty council properties had been costing the council thousands of pounds in damage, replacement and lost rental income.
Tenants and leaseholders can also help by reporting anything suspicious to the police.
Other organisations Selectamark works with to prevent theft from their properties include the BBC, Cambridge University and the National Trust.
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