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Five Construction Materials in Short Supply and at Risk of Theft

A surge in demand coupled with global restrictions has significantly impacted the cost and availability of several key construction materials.

As the UK begins the process of re-opening following months of lockdowns, the construction industry is beginning to boom, with activity levels expanding at the fastest rate in six years.

This high demand and low availability, caused in part by COVID-19 and Brexit, has seen the price of some material costs increasing by 20-30% and the price of timber increasing by over 50%

With the ever-increasing value of these materials, construction sites are an even greater target for opportunist thieves.

With pre-pandemic figures suggesting the industry loses over £800m per year due to theft, now is the time for construction companies to invest in proactive electronic security systems. 

Below, WCCTV looks at some of the key materials in short supply and how WCCTV's managed security services help prevent construction theft. 

Five Construction Materials in Short Suplly, High Demand - WCCTV

WCCTV Construction Site Security Services

Five Construction Materials in Short Supply

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) have been actively monitoring the developing situation on behalf of the UK Government. They have listed the following items as the worst affected by shortages and rising prices. 

1. Timber

Demand for timber in the UK is at an all-time high as housebuilding continues to grow at a rapid rate

Coupled with this high demand are complications caused by Brexit. Timber is amongst the most imported construction materials, with over 80% of the UK's softwood supply coming from Europe. 

This has led to estimated prices hikes of between 50%-80%, with the issue not set to go away any time soon - forecasters are predicting a global shortage of timber until at least 2025. 

2. Steel

Steel demand is currently outstripping supply, with British Steel announcing they are to stop taking further orders due to the extreme demand. 

The impact of this exceptionally high demand and low availability has resulted in a 17.6% increase year-on-year per figures released by the BEIS. 

3. Cement

An ongoing shortage of bagged cement has seen prices rise by over 30%, per a report published by The Telegraph.

While the situation is set to ease before the end of the year, in the short term, the shortages remain. 

4. Plastics

A combination of raw material shortages, factory closures outside the UK, severe weather condition in the southern USA and increased demand has recently seen plastics added to the list of construction materials in short supply. 

Pricing for plastic piping and insulation is rising, with anticipated hikes of anywhere from 5%-30%.

5. Paint

Paint shortages are taking grip globally, with the UK particularly hard hit due to complications surrounding the import of paint and the cost of shipping containers. 

Protect Your Construction Sites from Theft

Besides the fact that construction sites contain high-value materials, criminals believe that construction sites are easy targets - and, for the most part, they are.

Many sites are poorly lit, unmanned for several hours of the day, and most only have basic security measures in place, if any at all.

At WCCTV, we firmly believe our rapid deployment CCTV Towers, backed by proactive alarm monitoring, are the most effective way to prevent theft, trespass, vandalism and arson on construction sites.

Prevent Construction Materials Theft with WCCTV Rapid Deployment Site Tower

WCCTV's Rapid Deployment Towers stand 7m tall and act as a visible deterrent to potential thieves. 

They can be installed on practically any site, regardless of onsite power availability or communication networks, as they feature full power autonomy and operate using the mobile phone network. 

When backed by our NSI Gold remote video monitoring services, they become a virtual security guard - tracking criminals, gathering evidence, and allowing remote deployment of police or security patrols if required.

This helps to prevent, catch or record criminal activity. See for yourself just how effective our systems are: 

WCCTV: Managed CCTV Cameras for Construction Site Security 

WCCTV is the UK's leading provider of fully managed construction site security solutions. 

We supply our own manufactured CCTV products backed by a comprehensive service covering site survey, installation, maintenance, alarm monitoring, response and monthly reporting.

Our rapid-deployment CCTV systems provide construction sites with multi-application benefits, including theft prevention, Time Lapse Video recording and remote project management.

Whether you have on-site power or not, we can provide our CCTV systems, and they all contain 4G transmission. So they are completely autonomous solutions.

Click to Request a Quote

Ready to find out how WCCTV's Rapid Deployment CCTV can assist with site security? Get in touch today on 0800 470 4630 or email

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