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Police launch metal theft campaign

Created on 15/03/2012 @ 15:13


The rise in local metal thefts has prompted the police to launch a new campaign to encourage residents to be their eyes and ears on the ground.

Figures have revealed that metal theft costs the UK economy around £770m every year, with a heavy impact on businesses and services forced to close while repairs are carried out.
And the police are asking the public to report immediately if they see something unusual in their community which could range from unknown vans parked up in the area or the arrival of unexpected workmen.

Assistant Chief Constable Matt Jukes, the ACPO Cymru lead for tackling metal theft said: “Metal theft is about more than metal. Even the smallest amount of stolen cables or wiring can cause a great deal of inconvenience and distress to local people.

"These types of crimes are committed mostly in full view of the public, however, most of us presume that if we see people in work-type clothing or yellow jackets working on power cables or on roofs, then they must have someone's permission.

"But I encourage everyone to question what they see. If the vans, the uniforms, the time of day or the behaviour doesn't seem right to you, then contact police.

The Police are lobbying for stricter controls and legislative changes that will make life much more difficult for thieves and unscrupulous scrap metal dealers.

Local Government and Communities Minister, Carl Sargeant said: "Incidents of metal theft in Wales have increased at an alarming rate in recent years and it is crucial that we tackle this problem. This is a crime which can cause great distress to victims and it also has the potential to cause widespread disruption where the transport and energy infrastructures are targeted.

"The Welsh Government is working closely with the police and other partners to address this issue but we also need the support of the public to report anything suspicious to the police. I hope the campaign will raise public awareness of this crime and will encourage people to act positively by working with the police to confront any incidents of metal theft."

Tips to protect your property from metal thieves

• Ensure your gates are locked and your property is secured
• Restrict access to the roof by moving bins, water butts and tall trees away from the property. Lock ladders away in sheds, garages or compounds.
• Remove any means of transporting stolen material, such as wheelbarrows or bikes
• Apply anti-climb paint to drainpipes and roof guttering to help restrict access to the roof
• Consider installing security lighting at your property
• Paint the lead with tar (makes removal difficult) or any other paint as this de-values the lead
• Carry out regular checks to roofs and gulleys
• Consider installing CCTV to cover the property with adequate monitoring and recording
• Encourage members of your community to keep a vigilant eye on your property and report any suspicious activity

If a metal theft incident is ongoing please call 999 or in a non-emergency call 101. You can also call Crimestoppers Wales anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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