Police operations to cut metal theft in Cumbria is beginning to have an impact

4:05pm Thursday 23rd May 2013

POLICE actions are having an impact on metal theft in the county with a 30 per cent decrease in the number of crimes since operations began in early 2012.

Operation Amber has seen police officers across the county checking their local scrap dealers to ensure work practices continue to be within the law.

The most recent operation saw officers carrying out stop checks at the Furness end of the A590 on Tuesday. Those visiting builders merchants and scrap yards with metal to sell were also stopped and spoken to by police checking documentation. Changes to legislation regarding cashless transactions and identification checks have also helped to discourage metal thefts. But between January 2013 and April 2013 there were 121 reported thefts of metal. This is a small increase when compared to the same time period in 2012 when there were 113 reported incidents. Detective Chief Inspector Bob Qazi, who is leading metal theft operations in Cumbria, said: “We are encouraged that metal theft in 2012 decreased by 30 per cent This year there has been a slight increase in the number of thefts, however we are continuing to be proactive in tackling the issue.

“The support we have received from the majority of our scrap dealers has been fantastic and all have managed to implement the legislation changes.

“These action days provide the opportunity to carry out checks on people who are using the scrap yards. We check on the relevant documentation, such as driving licences and permits to operate as metal dealers.”

“We will continue to support our dealers and have action days in order to maintain low levels of metal theft crime. By doing so, we continue to protect our community from the heartache that metal theft can cause, by damaging property and having expensive repairs to make.”

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