21 May 2013

Thieves target Christchurch construction sites

9:55 am on 21 May 2013

Police are urging builders and contractors in Christchurch to secure construction sites following an increase in thefts in recent months.

Detective Senior Sergeant Corrie Parnell says the Christchurch building boom has brought with it an increase in construction gear theft.

Mr Parnell says everything from tools and buildings materials to diggers have been stolen from unsecured building sites in the past few months.

He says perimeter fences should be checked frequently to make sure they can't be breached and keys for equipment should be taken off site at the end of the day.

The managing director of Falcon Construction, Denis Calliher, says his business has had no problems with theft yet, but he's anticipating it will become a problem.

Mr Calliher says extra help may be needed as the number of construction sites surges in the coming months.

He says at the moment, hiring security guards could be an option for commercial construction sites, but they may not be as effective in on residential sites where a guard may only drive past each individual house every few hours.

A spokesperson for the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority says it probably won't be stepping in to provide extra security for construction sites, as it has done for abandoned properties in the residential red zone. The spokersperson says it's up to contractors to be vigilant.