HOMEOWNERS and businesses in the New Forest have been urged to safe guard their metal.

The warning comes because lead roofing and flashing, copper tanks, cables, metal gates and pipes are being targeted by thieves.

Hampshire Police and the Safer Forest Partnership is asking householders and businesses to consider security marking their property.

Using security marking products is a deterrent to thieves as it is nearly impossible to remove from metals and they are checked by scrap yard managers making it harder for criminals to sell on the stolen metal.

Other measures to keep metal safe that have been suggested by the Safer Forest Partnership includes security lighting, CCTV and perimeter fencing.