METAL thieves on Wearside will be on the scrapheap as a crime-fighting charity launches a hard-hitting new campaign.
Today marks the start of a new initiative by Crimestoppers to tackle the massive rise in metal theft across the Northumbria Police force area.
Nexus, which owns the Metro, is supporting the crackdown, after a string of attacks on the system.
Head of communications Huw Lewis said: “Metal theft is a problem for the whole community and we want to play our part to confront it.
“Working with partners including police forces and Crimestoppers, we have seen a fall in incidents on Metro over the last year, with much less disruption for passengers, and this campaign will help build on that success.”
The campaign will encourage people to contact Crimestoppers with information about metal thefts, which have recently blighted Wearside communities as thieves have targeted war memorials and sculptures.
If successful, it could lead to campaigns tackling larger-scale metal theft affecting industries including transport and communication.
Dave Hunter, Crimestoppers regional manager for the North East, said: “Crimestoppers wants to encourage the public to fight back against the metal thieves who create severe disruption for local communities and cost millions to the UK economy.”
He added: “We want to scrap the metal thieves and the local public can help us to do this by passing on any information they might have on those committing this crime anonymously to Crimestoppers.
“We don’t want to know who you are, only what you know and you might even qualify for a reward.”
To pass on information about a metal theft incident, or any crime, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or fill in a secure online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.