Scrap dealers to help metal theft crackdown
POLICE are turning to scrap dealers in an attempt to stop metal thieves selling stolen copper and lead.
Detectives working as part of Operation Gandalf – a countywide crackdown on stolen metal – visited three scrapyards yesterday to speak to staff about the problem.
The day of action was led by Detective Inspector Sharon Dence, who said: “Metal theft is a high priority issue for us and forces across the country.
“We are now trying to get a better relationship with scrap dealers in an attempt to combat the problem from a different angle.
“We are visiting scrapyards to make sure everyone is sticking to all the correct legislation, and keeping proper records of what is brought into their yards.
“Sometimes people depositing metal can be quite intimidating and we want scrap dealers to know that if they are concerned about anything that is brought to their yard, they can come to us.
“We have had a number of thefts of lead from church roofs and cable theft is also an issue.
“If a cable is stolen, it can mean that people are without power, or phones. That can affect businesses, or, in extreme circumstances, it could affect someone having kidney dialysis at home. We need to get the message across that metal thefts do affect communities.”
David Harrison, runs a scrapyard, in Padholme Road, Eastfield, Peterborough, which was one of the yards visited by police yesterday.
He said: “There is a big problem with metal thefts but the problem is there is no way of knowing what is stolen or what is not. I would like to see an identification system in place for people who bring metal in.”
Glinton and Wittering ward councillor John Holdich said: “Last month all the phone lines in Wittering were knocked out by cable thefts.
“Not everyone in the village has a mobile phone and reception is not al- (METP-14-1211RH 217) ways great, which would make it difficult to contact emergency services if needed.
“We have also had quite a few road signs stolen and lead taken from church roofs. It does affect a lot of people and it is down to the police and residents to report it.”
Anyone with information about metal thefts in the area should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111
CHECKS: Police inspecting the scrapyard in Padholme Road, Eastfield, Peterborough as part of Operation Gandalf day of action.
Picture: ROWLAND HOBSON.