Deterring Metal Theft with Behavior Modification
Metal theft refers to incidents in which goods are stolen and stripped for their value of various types of metal. Metal recycling is lucrative, and thus, the motive behind metal theft.
Metal theft takes on numerous forms and there are several applications for which they are used, and the motives for each metal robbery differ depending on both value and risk factor. Common targets include car lots for their catalytic converters, business centers for their air conditioning units, roofing material for its lead, bronze plaques from graveyards and monuments, and construction sites or stadiums for their copper wiring and cables. Each metal target has its own marketplace value, as well as its own risk factor depending on its level of vulnerability and its surrounding security.
For the valuable metals that have the security risk-factor added to its theft prospect, there is evidence that a specific type of security that involves the intervention of catching the metal thief in the act, may serve as a type of behavioral modification by altering their thoughts toward changing their behavior. This is due to the negative reinforcement or by the “warning” they’ve just encountered. As humans, we are wired as such to alter our thinking and therefore change our behavior based on both positive and negative outcomes. Behavior modification is just that, a reversal of one’s decisions built on a known outcome.
There is a multitude of research in benefits surrounding behavior modification. Its therapeutic techniques first became popular in the 1970s, and it is used for countless behavioral breakthroughs today. One study presented children with ADHD in a behavior modification group turned out to have 50% less felony arrests later in life then the children who were not in behavior therapy. The reason it works is because its purpose is practical—the use of thought intervention begets a halt and modification in behavior.
Bringing us back to our theory on how the application of behavior modification in security may stop a metal thief from finalizing their treachery, a sudden interruption in metal thievery and the prospect of recycling stolen metal for cash suddenly becomes the prospect of jail time. Most people, even thieves, do not like the possibility of a negative outcome. A crime-deterrent camera system serves the use of crime intervention by warning the criminal that they are on camera and prosecution is around the corner. This is the security technique of the future… using behavior modification as a deterrent for metal theft.