It seems that now more than ever, construction sites are suffering from the theft of materials, tools and equipment.
Will your development be next on the thieves’ list?
Construction site theft and vandalism reportedly costs the industry around $25 million dollars annually in Australia. That is without taking into account the impact of building delays, which can have significant impact on a project’s end cost.
A recent survey revealed that over two thirds of all residential builders were affected by theft or vandalism at building sites and, of those affected, two thirds had experienced more than one incident. Thieves are targeting raw materials (think bags of concrete, timber, tiles) but also hand-held tools (including carpentry and electrical tools).
While the cost of replacing tools may fall to the individual tradies, without the gear to get the job done the customer’s projects are delayed. This often means that money coming into the business is impacted, which is bad news for everyone.
The risk of theft is highest in the final stages of construction. Building sites in CBD areas had the highest incidence of theft, recording around 44%, whilst inner-city/outer suburbs recorded a little less with 40% reporting crime. Regional towns recorded the lowest theft rate with 30% of projects falling victim to thieves. That figure seems ridiculously high, especially when there are services available to counteract these crimes.
Unsurprisingly, most of these thefts occurred on open-site premises, although lots of victims stated that the incident involved some forced entry.
You can take basic precautions to protect your site, such as ensuring all doors, window locks and site sheds are locked (don’t leave it up to the tradesmen) and, if possible, moving unused building materials to the rear of the site, or out of view from roadway. It’s also worth remembering that theft is not limited to materials and tools. There was a situation reported where the newly finished landscaping for a townhouse development was stolen overnight. It cost thousands of dollars to replace the plants, which had been ripped out of the ground, loaded on a truck and driven away.
With the cost of replacing handheld tools, building materials, fixtures, whitegoods and plants far outweighing the cost of hiring private security for your site, why not get immediate peace of mind by using professionals.
Meridian Services was instrumental in the creation and facilitation of the highly successful BUSTED program in 2014/2015 and promote a whole industry approach to tackle the costly problem of building site crime. Meridian has not only formed a partnership with MBAWA, we are now working alongside Keep Australia Beautiful following our multiple successes in tackling illegal dumping on sites. We are committed to stamping out building site theft.
Call Meridian Services today to see how we can be of service.
We will protect your investment.