EXPERT: £1M IS A CONSERVATIVE ESTIMATE. THESE WERE PROFESSIONALS, WORKING NIGHT SHIFTS
Metal theft is big business, as stolen copper, lead and other materials is estimated to cost the UK economy £220 million per year.
An expert in metal theft said he believes the true cost of the Stobhill raid would dwarf the current £1m estimate.
Jim Scott, metal theft lead at the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, was consulted about the Stobhill operation after the scale of the break-in was discovered.
He said: “I would say that £1m was a conservative estimate.”
Mr Scott added that the theft was no amateur enterprise and the gang who carried out the raid would be well drilled professionals.
“They were very organised,” he said. “The criminals were basically working night shifts in
the place. The only thing they didn’t have was a clock-in, clock-out machine.
“Unfortunately, they cut through a live cable which caused an incident and a fire in the new hospital.”
He added: “They will go for the copper first. The lead will be the last resort because it’s less valuable and it’s harder to transport.
“It’s not just the theft, it’s the damage that the thefts do to the buildings. It creates broken-window syndrome, which means it’s more likely to attract further criminality.”