Metal Theft Crackdown continues across the Yorkshire and Humber Region

13th February 2013

Metal theft has a devastating impact on businesses, communities and individuals.

The Association of Chief Police Officers estimates that metal theft costs the UK economy £770m every year, with 7,000 reported crimes every month.  Tragically 10 people were killed in the UK last year as a result of metal theft. UK insurers reportedly pay out £1 million a week to victims of metal theft (ABI).This includes the loss of key services such as telecommunications and power, disruption of rail networks and the desecration of religious buildings and memorials. In 2011, British Transport Police launched Operation Tornado to combat this prolific crime, the initiative contributed to a 51% fall in reported crimes. However metal theft still remains a great threat to the UK economy.  The industry is pressing for new legislation to make it tougher to profit from the crime. The proposed Scrap Metal Dealers Bill will tighten controls on how freely metals such as copper can be traded. The Yorkshire and Humber region is one of the worst affected areas in the UK for metal theft. Our regions Police Forces have launched a metal theft crackdown.  The initiatives have led to a 38% reduction in metal theft offences from November to December across the whole region. West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire are the worst affected by metal theft.  There were nearly 6,000 reported incidents of metal theft across South and West Yorkshire between April and December 2012.   The latest performance figures show that December's initiatives led to 127 less offences in West Yorkshire and 131 less offences in South Yorkshire, a 45% and 36% reduction respectively. The Yorkshire and Humber regions forces have reported that metal thieves are beginning to target overhead cabling, predominantly in South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire. In South Yorkshire Thorne and Dunscroft areas and the Conisborough - Rotherham border are worst affected.  In West Yorkshire it is more sporadic and crimes are more evident in rural areas. The Business Crime Reduction Centre is hosting a free conference on Friday 22nd March 2013 at the Holiday Inn, Doncaster, to raise awareness of what the future holds for metal theft including: Market forces driving the theft of metal The international nature of metal theft The impact of new legislation in the UK Partnership working between the police and private sector Technical solutions for the prevention of metal theft Other vulnerable commodities and security threats The key note speaker will be Chief Constable David Crompton, South Yorkshire Police. Other speakers include Detective Superintendent John McBride, British Transport Police; Simon Davies, BT and representatives from the Home Office, UK Border Agency and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). David Ransom, Chief Executive of the Business Crime Reduction Centre said -Metal theft is an extremely serious crime. Not only does it cost local businesses greatly, it can also lead to serious injury and death. The recent crackdowns have seen crime figures reduce but there is still more to do. This event will address the importance of tackling metal crime head on. BCRC is delivered in partnership with Yorkshire-based charity, People United Against Crime and South Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Humberside Police forces. BCRC is part financed by the European Union through the Yorkshire and Humber European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007-2013. For more information please visit: www.bcrc-uk.org

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