New forum to fight crime

Published:  24 August, 2011

LONDON: Big-name retailers from the DIY and building sector, including Travis Perkins, have joined forces in an attempt to reduce theft from stores and yards.

The DIY and Building Trade Loss Prevention Forum members will share best practice and data to help thwart thieves and reduce losses.

The scrap price of metal is a factor in the increased crime rate, as the price of copper is expected to reach £7000 a ton by the end of 2011. DIY store staff are now on the lookout for thieves who hide copper tubing inside plastic drain pipes, asking till staff to scan the plastic while it is still in their trolley to avoid detection.

Drive-off theft is also on the rise, as opportunistic thieves load up flat-bed lorries and leave yards without paying.

Jim McKenna, head of group security at Travis Perkins and the newly-elected chair of the forum, said the problem extends to poor practice standards among staff that facilitate criminal practices.

We have come together to fight criminal practices and share intelligence from our businesses. The building trade works a lot on generous credit terms with small to medium-sized businesses and some of the procedures have, in some instances, been subject to abuse over the years and require attention.

"This is not necessarily theft, but simply bad practice that has developed unchecked. Putting this right... requires a behaviour change and winning over the hearts and minds in our sector which is what collaboration as a sector is all about."

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