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New technology hailed by police as major step in combating metals theft

A revolutionary, portable alarm system that can film thieves and link them to crimes using DNA technology in remote locations, has been hailed by Police as a major step towards helping to combat a massive rise in metals theft.
The Alarmed and Traceable Technology Solutions System (AATTS), developed by Kilmarnock-based PID Systems, is the first purpose-built alarm system for protecting vulnerable properties and locations to be approved and recommended by the Association of chief Police Officers (ACPO).

The system is battery powered and wireless so it doesn’t need to be connected to a mains supply or phone line. It can be installed quickly and easily and gives a loud, bespoke verbal warning when an intruder is detected, notifying the owner of the building and capturing any attempted theft on video.
The vandal-resistant alarm system is used in conjunction with indelible, DNA based marking dye which can only be seen under UV light. It coats intruders with a unique encrypted molecular marking that can be irrefutably linked back to the crime scene.
Jacqui Shiel, development manager for ACPO’s Secured by Design initiative, said: “Metal theft is a growing problem which can be very expensive to address, both in the cost of replacing materials taken and in effecting repairs.  Early notification of a potential problem is very important in preventing this disruption and identifying those responsible”.
 
PID Systems’ AATTS is an effective weapon in the fight against metal theft because it can be deployed quickly and easily in a wide variety of internal and external locations. It uses the latest technology to provide an adaptable, early warning and detection system.
 
 
There has been a massive rise in metals theft, prompted by a hike in global cost. The price of copper rose from £889-a-tonne in November 2001, to a high of £6,356-a-tonne, recorded last year. According to HM Revenue and Customs, an estimated 10,000 incidents of metal theft every year costs the UK economy more than £5.6billion in lost revenue.
 
Among those hardest hit by copper theft is Network Rail, which saw the number of railway cable thefts rise by 65%, leading to 16,000 lost working hours, between 2009 and 2010, and  BT which has seen a 12% rise in cable thefts in the past year.
 
Gordon McIntyre, a director of PID systems, said: “Metal theft is a huge problem in all sorts of locations, many of which are remote with no mains power supply such as at railway sidings, where there are large quantities of copper cables and on lead roofs.”
 
The AATTS has a proven track record in stopping theft of lead and copper roofing materials. It comprises wireless, vandal-resistant cameras and 3G/GPRS communications to give real time notification of intruder activity, allowing timely intervention and prevention.
 
“Should a theft occur, DNA coding provides an irrefutable link between suspects and stolen material, leading to police conviction.”


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