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Stop ASHPs being stolen

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(@datacompany)
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Hi Guys,

I fully appreciate why people are scepticle about this, as I've said these thefts are never really reported as the people losing them see it as a long standing and acceptable theft (we've never understood that) that gets reported to the Police and that's the end of the matter. So with that being the case, we thought we could obtain ther statistics via the freedom of information act..this is what we got back:

 

 

Devon & Cornwall Police Freedom of Information (FOI) ref: 01/FOI/23/005116

I write in connection with your request for information, which was received by Devon & Cornwall Police on 12/06/2023. I note you seek access to the following information:

 

We are attempting to collate the total value of Heat Pumps being stolen. They are extremely vulnerable and cages not only don't seem to work, but also add to the total scrap value of the unit being stolen.

Can you please release any data you have on the total number of Heat Pumps stolen up to this point?

Clarification (Jan 2021 to Nov 2022)

Following receipt of your request searches were conducted within Devon & Cornwall Police to locate information relevant to your request and I can confirm that some information is held which falls within the description specified in your request. However, it is estimated that to locate, retrieve and extract the specific information is likely to take longer than 18 hours.

 

As per section 12(3) of the FOI Act 2000, the time period of 18 hours is considered the ‘appropriate limit’ to the amount of time or money spent on one individual request under the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004. Therefore, the cost of providing you with the confirmed information is above the amount to which we are legally required to respond.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Here's another article, it at least is starting to introduce other knowledgable people into the mix.

https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/news/how-to-protect-your-heat-pump-from-theft?fbclid=IwAR0JrRpR7Ojksc619Y6iuffA-lzKwuvHcy2B2vkdOG2y2BcLL63wcBVQzT4  


   
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Transparent
(@transparent)
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Ah, well there's the problem.
You made the FOI request to Devon & Cornwall Police!

Police Forces based in the West Country are far less likely to have the capability to respond to such a request within 18 hours.
The pace of life is very much slower than that experienced in the greater part of England.

The 18h time-frame commences with a constable first needing to cycle to a library in Exeter or Truro and enter the search term 'Heat Pump' into a computer with a landline broadband speed greater than 500kbps.

Once the question has been understood, the local intelligence network will be activated.
This usually involves a plain clothes officer visiting Bogey Knight's second-hand emporium in Plymouth, and interrogating the owner over a cup of tea.

 

Save energy... recycle electrons!


   
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(@datacompany)
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Topic starter  

A brilliant reply, however, ..it’s an example of the response of 21 forces in the UK, who all replied in a similar way, unfortunately these theft types are logged as break-ins or thefts, but often not listed specifically, making collating the numbers stolen impossible. We were seeing if the procedures followed by the Police had changed and these responses would suggest they haven’t. We have tried and failed over the years to get accurate numbers; the FOI act hasn’t improved things.

 

An interesting development is the theft of Wall Batteries in Manchester, A new development of 70 houses, All the ASHP’s fitted outside were Datatagged, they were ignored,. the houses were broken into and 15 of the batteries were stolen. SUN synk batteries, ? the replacements will be Datatagged.

This post was modified 11 months ago 2 times by Datacompany

   
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Transparent
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Posted by: @datacompany

houses were broken into and 15 of the batteries were stolen.

 

I guess it depends on whether Manchester Police record it when a theft is reported, or only after they've apprehended perpetrators.

And if the cells are already full then they'll be unable to initiated any charges.

This post was modified 11 months ago 2 times by Transparent

Save energy... recycle electrons!


   
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(@datacompany)
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Topic starter  

@mphb 

We've attempted to attain actual statistics from all 43 police constabularies via FOI requests. Does Germany/Netherlands have a formal information portal to access heat pump theft data instead of a quick google search?
In the UK, the response we recieved has almost always been "Refused due to categorization issues in the recording of the crime data relating to each individual theft". Of these police forces, one responded with specific 'as recorded' theft of heat pumps, which was West Mercia police (See below).

This information is freely available to verify.

"West Mercia Police holds the following information
Calendar Year Number of offences Total number of heat pumps
stolen
2021 - 0
2022 - 38
2023 (Jan-May) - 11
Grand Total - 49 "

This is only one region out of 43. Thefts go unreported as they are stolen from Housebuilders and housing associations that underwrite their own theft. 

See below how hard a Heat pump is to lift in/out of position. Two person lift or not, if they can be lifted in, they can be lifted out just as quickly. Some new units even have no need for anti vibration mounts, taking even less time to remove.

image

 (Source: BBC)


   
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Mars
 Mars
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I've just read an online thread about permitted development for heat pumps, and I think the most bizarre thing was how many homeowners in the UK are concerned about installing their heat pump in the front of their house (street side) not because of noise or aesthetics, but because it might get stolen with people fearing gangs armed with angle grinders and flatbed trucks with mini cranes. Is this a genuine concern I wonder, with several people citing that it's "scrappers" doing this. 

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Transparent
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image

It doesn't help that installers use rubber anti-vibration blocks which are

  • not themselves anchored to the concrete below
  • ideally suited to pulling a webbing strop underneath in order to lift it by crane

 

If I were to install an ASHP unit in such a position, I wouldn't be relying on bolts fitted through exposed feet of the unit.
Whilst the panels are off, I'd drill through the bottom of the case and insert anti-vibration anchor bolts straight into the heavy concrete pad below.
You can't easily strip down a Heat Pump and get an angle-grinder to heavy-duty fixings inside the case.

Additionally, I could use pressurised Nitrous Oxide as the refrigerant.

If 'scrappers' attempted to cut open the case, then I'd be able to run outside and nab them whilst they're still falling about laughing.

Save energy... recycle electrons!


   
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 MPHB
(@mphb)
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I have once again checked the news in Germany and the Netherlands in the last six months and there are only a low single digit number of reports in Germany (none in NL) and half of these reports are HP being stolen from a construction site. 

However, coverage - in Germany - roughly is as follows:

0.01% - reporting an actual theft, indicating that it is a marginal issue.

30% - reporting of an SIGNIFICANT increase (percentage-wise) of HP thefts, from 1 to 3 nominally in a certain large region, but still a 200%(!!!!) increase. That will come with any new technology. Mobile phone or EV theft must have increased multiple thousands of percents between 2000 and 2024....

70% - a lot of scaremongering about a SURGE in HP theft, insurers not covering theft, and that this is a VERY BIG issue that potential HP owners should think about thrice before replacing their 30-year old oil-heating with a HP. 

FAKE NEWS!, I would say....

 

In general, I do think that the weight of a HP makes its theft not too easy and will put many off. In our area there are some HP's installed close to the street and it cannot be excluded that these will be subject to vandalism (probably limited to jamming the fan) at one point or another. That will be very annoying but I cannot imagine gangs scoring streets in order to jack-out HP's. The effort is too big and the scrap value too low. Plus it is not easy to hide a heap of 20 HP's. There are other assets that are better targets - I mentioned high-end bicycles above.

One last note on vandalism: I did have some talks with my boys of 6 and 9 that, "daddy's machine" is NOT a toy, should NOT be touched, CANNOT be hid behind when playing hide and seek (potentially ruining the radiator), it does NOT need any water as it is not a plant, and if either of them only approaches the fan with a stick, he will NEVER eat iceream or fries AGAIN! I am actually surprised that nothing has happened yet 18 month in. 

This post was modified 4 months ago 2 times by MPHB

   
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(@datacompany)
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Hi, I thought this would be of interest as it happened  over the last couple of weeks.

https://www.northyorkshire.police.uk/news/north-yorkshire/news/news/2024/01-january/one-arrested-following-skipton-boiler-burglary/#:~:text=A%20suspected%20burglar%20has%20been,build%20residential%20housing%2C%20were%20stolen.

I've posted this link to highlight one fact - there is a market for stolen boilers

https://news.stv.tv/west-central/boilers-worth-100000-stolen-in-pre-planned-robbery-over-christmas-from-hillington-park-in-glasgow

Scrap Copper is at £6,500 a tonne.

We have asked the Police forces in the UK to log ASHP theft separately, as it's obviously of interest to people We can only ask...

As this issue develops I will keep everyone here informed.


   
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 MPHB
(@mphb)
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Datacompany - I am sorry, but how is this relevant? Surely is there a market for a bunch of brand new boilers in their packaging. There will also be a market for brand new HP's and it might be worthwhile to nick a whole bunch of them from a warehouse becuase it is very efficient.

But this is quite different from stealing single installed and therefore "used" HP's from separate houses/locations for which you were promoting a product.


   
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Morgan
(@morgan)
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@datacompany

Why would that be of any interest?  It doesn't relate in any way to ASHP's.

Retrofitted 11.2kw Mitsubishi Ecodan to new radiators commissioned November 2021.


   
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