Metal thieves risking their lives to get scrap

Police carrying out a metal theft operation
Police carrying out a metal theft operation
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WEARSIDERS are being urged to help police cut off the supply of metal to thieves.

A rise in the value of metal has seen an increase in the amount of metal being stolen, with lead flashing and boilers being among the targets.

Thieves have also been risking their lives by raiding electricity substations for their metal.

Multi-agency operations have been carried out with the DVLA, VOSA, Environmental Services and other forces where people transporting metal have been stopped to make sure they are genuine scrap metal dealers and complying with the law.

Officers have also been dishing out crime prevention advice to residents to help them reduce the risk of becoming victims and they are now urging residents to report any suspicious activity.

In the last two months, 50 people across the city have been arrested in relation to stealing metal.

Chief Superintendent Kay Blyth, Sunderland Area Commander, said: “Thieves are putting their lives at risk by stealing electrical cable.

“Most of these places display danger of death keep out signs with very good reason.

“We continue to work tirelessly to reduce the amount of metal being stolen and are asking for our communities help.

“If anyone sees anyone removing metal from buildings or substations, or if they see anyone carrying metal that seems suspicious, we’d urge them to get in contact.

“Officers will be handing out crime prevention leaflets to residents, advising them how they can reduce the risk of being a victim of crime.

“Our commitment to tackling metal thefts has seen more and more people arrested and this will continue.

“We rely on information given to us from our communities and we’d urge people to contact police with any information or concerns they have.”

For more information on how to reduce the risk of being a victim of metal theft or to contact your local neighbourhood policing team, visit www.northumbria.police.uk or phone 03456 043 043 ex 69191.