INDUSTRY LEADERS GATHER TO DISCUSS SOLAR CRIME
The energy crisis has caused a spike in the theft of solar panels as people desperately try to keep bills down, new data shows.
Police, industry and operators are to meet later this month to discuss the issue of solar crime.
The issue is on the rise in the UK particularly over the past six months, and the cost incurred by victims is increasing exponentially, say organisers.
DeterTech and Schroders Greencoat have called a meeting to find tactical solutions.
Special guest speakers Detective Superintendent and Head of OPAL (the national intelligence unit) James Taylor and Richie Iwanoff, Senior Intelligence Lead, BT, and founding member of the National Infrastructure Crime Reduction Partnership, will answer questions and provide insight into solar industry crime.
DeterTech’s director of intelligence, Rachael Oakley, said there had been a clear change in trends with solar panels becoming more attractive to many thieves than traditional cable and copper wire heists.
‘The stolen solar panels then tend to be advertised online and bought by people or companies keen to offset their soaring energy bills,’ she added.
‘So we would discourage anyone from buying them second hand, or at the very least taking some steps to determine their origin.
‘We expect this to get worse as the energy crisis deepens.’ Former West Mercia Police officer Garry Higgins, now DeterTech’s director of commercial operations, said thieves now knew that solar panels would be straightforward to sell on.
‘As with any criminality when you’ve got any offending they steal for risk and reward, and now they know this technology will be easy to shift because the energy crisis is driving demand,’ he said.
‘We would urge people who do have panels to take proper security measures and use smart water to forensically mark the equipment to make it traceable and less attractive to criminals.’