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November 22, 2018

North-west hirers suffer break-ins

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 8:59 am

A wave of break-ins is affecting hirers throughout north-west England. Thieves are targeting the depots of independent, regional and national companies, and some incidents are believed to have been carried out by the same people.

One Stop Hire has had several of its depots affected in a series of break-ins that stretch over several weeks but which have gathered pace in the past fortnight. Locations targeted include Manchester, Liverpool, Bolton, Leyland and Bromborough.

MD Steve Hitchen told EHN, “We thought our security measures were good with roller shutters, CCTV and anti-ram bollards fitted at our depots. However, the criminals have found ways round this by using bigger stolen vehicles with improvised bridging accessories between the bollards, like fridge/freezers and wheelie bins.”

The determined thieves force open the roller shutters with repeated rammings, often in full view of passers-by, and then squeeze through the opening created (pictured).

One Stop Hire estimates that the equipment stolen per incident is worth £15,000 with £5,000 of damage to repair. The company is now fitting enhanced CCTV that is remotely monitored by security guards who immediately challenge trespassers. It has also installed anti-ram bollards in a staggered pattern and steel gates behind roller shutters.

Steve, who spoke about this crime wave to hirers at last week’s Executive Hire Road Show in Haydock, adds that the enhanced security measures seem to be working. Recent CCTV footage at two One Stop Hire depots shows gangs turning up and driving off when they see the new monitoring equipment.

“I urge all hirers to take precautions,” he told EHN. “If possible, move small equipment upstairs or into secure cages, and place barriers across doorways and roller shutters to prevent attacks.”

Sadly, a number of one-depot independents which have been affected by such break-ins fear that the losses incurred will drive them out of business.

We will report on this in more depth in the next issue of EHN.

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