Scrap deal­ers to help metal theft crack­down

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Your - By STEPHEN BRIGGS stephen.briggs@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk

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.

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