Theft of Building Materials - 334/22

Date Responded 16 March 2022

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

I’d like to make a request regarding information on reports of theft of building materials - specifically lead and copper.


  1. Specifically, I’d like to request the number of reports of theft where lead and/or copper materials have been stolen from the time period 2017 to 2022 (or if 2022 data is not available then data from 2017 - 2021 would be great).
  2. Please could you also show the town/city where the theft has taken place, and the type of building or site that the material was stolen from (eg. a church, residential property, construction site).
  3. Finally, in each reported case please advise whether any arrests were made and if so, whether there were any prosecutions.

In Response:

Following receipt of your request, searches were conducted with the Corporate Development Department of Northumbria Police.  I can confirm that the information you have requested is held by Northumbria Police.


I am able to disclose the located information to you with the below noted.


  • Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete.  However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes.  The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.  As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data.


  • The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.


  • Crimes have been identified as:

- matching the "theft and handling" description

- having an item listed under MET or BUI (metal or building respectively) that contained the term COPPER or LEAD

  • A separate data base was then reviewed to extract arrest data.
  • The information is provided by Sector as this is how it is recorded and collated.


With all the above noted we respond as attached.


If you decide to write an article / use the enclosed data we would ask you to take into consideration the factors highlighted in this document so as to not mislead members of the public or official bodies, or misrepresent the relevance of the whole or any part of this disclosed material.


Due to the different methods of recording information across 43 forces, a specific response from one constabulary should not be seen as an indication of what information could be supplied (within cost) by another.  Systems used for recording these figures are not generic, nor are the procedures used locally in capturing the data.  For this reason responses between forces may differ, and should not be used for comparative purposes.


The information we have supplied to you is likely to contain intellectual property rights of Northumbria Police.  Your use of the information must be strictly in accordance with the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended) or such other applicable legislation.  In particular, you must not re-use this information for any commercial purpose.

Theft of Building Materials - 334/22

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