Thursday 29 September 2011

Top teams put thieves on metal alert

Theft of metal is causing huge disruption and upset within the region, with copper wire thefts disrupting train services, broadband /phone, electricity supplies etc whilst lead is being stolen from church roofs and even war memorials

Durham Constabulary is boosting its response to metal thefts as part of a major crackdown on this growing crime. 
New units are being put together under the banner of Operation Hansel, the crossborder response to metal theft. 
Teams of five or six officers, some of which are specific road policing teams, will target those responsible for most of the metal theft and scrap metal crime happening in County Durham and Darlington.
“The theft of metal is an increasing problem not only in this area but across the country because of the high value that it fetches for scrap,” says Chief Supt Dave Orford, who is leading the force’s response to metal theft.
“We’re already doing a lot to combat the problem, gathering intelligence all the time and working closely with the people who run scrap yards in the area. The new teams have been put together to focus specifically on this type of crime and
they aim to target those people we know to be the worst offenders. However, we also need the help of local residents to make the most of this campaign. We’re asking anyone who sees a vehicle carrying metal to report it so we can ensure that it’s operating legally.  We’re also asking people not to make things easy for thieves: don’t leave metal items like bikes or garden equipment insecure and keep an eye on any unoccupied property where you live and report anything suspicious.”
Anyone with information should contact Durham Constabulary on 0345 60 60 365 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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