Crimestoppers urges the public to nail metal thieves
Theft of metal is a huge risk to the UK and whilst prices remain high and global demand for metal continues to rise, this crime is big business and an international problem that will not disappear on its own. Costs to the UK economy are estimated at £770m each year.
Metal theft is the hot topic today. We read about incidents in the papers and many of us may well have felt the impact of metal theft on our day to day lives; train cancellations from cable and track theft, loss of phone and internet connection, school closures. However, awareness of metal theft is only part of the battle. In order to stop criminals continuing to disrupt our lives we all need to be proactive, vigilant and to report our suspicions quickly.
Police Forces in the South East recently introduced a scheme named Operation Tornado., working together to target metal theft.
There is also new legislation which came into effect on 1st October 2013 to make it harder for thieves and unscrupulous scrap dealers to do their business unlawfully. A licence will be required by operators wishing to sell scrap metal, no cash payments are permitted and any scrap should be fully traceable. It will also make it easier to trace any person who sells metal to Scrap Metal Merchants and will help to remove and prosecute dealers of stolen metal.
As a Force we are committed to reducing metal theft in Hampshire and Isle of Wight. Operation Tornado aims to target unscrupulous dealers rather than inhibit legitimate businesses. However we still need intelligence from the public to tackle this crime from all angles. For example, if you have a skip on your drive which is suddenly attracting people who start rummaging and taking any metal items, please tell us. People on the roof of the local school who clearly aren’t there to repair it? Tell us.
To pass on information about metal theft or any crime anonymously, Crimestoppers can be contacted online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org, or by calling the 24/7 anonymous 0800 555 111 number. Whichever form of communication you chose, no one will know you gave information – unless you tell them yourself!
Who’s stealing metal from homes, schools and churches? Cable from railways? Who’s a crooked metal dealer? Tell us 0800 555111.