New measures to help stamp out scrap metal thefts in Thornbury and other areas
By Trucks79 | Monday, June 25, 2012, 17:55
New measures to combat metal thefts have been rolled out across the South of England today Monday, 25th June.
It is hoped that the new measures introduced today will help to reduce metal thefts in and around Thornbury as well as the wider areas which have seen a sharp rise in recorded thefts over the last year.
The new measures Spearheaded by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), Operation Tornado is being launched across the south after being trialled successfully in the North East of the country.
Estimated to cost the UK approximately £1billion a year, metal theft is increasing not just locally in Thornbury but also nationally due to the global rise in metal prices, resulting in, inconvenience and expense to thousands of people and in some cases causing risk to life. All affected industries are working together with the police to tackle the problem at a national level.
With the aim of deterring would be thieves, Op Tornado makes it easier to trace sellers of stolen metal through an identification scheme, constricting the market in which thieves can operate and making it more difficult to sell-on stolen goods.
In the South West, the operation will see cross-border collaboration with Avon and Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Constabularies working together to target metal thieves.
Scrap metal yards across the region have been asked to sign up to the scheme over the last six weeks. From the 25th of June, anyone going to a yard to sell metal will be asked for evidence of identity in the form of a passport, national identity card or photo driving licence, supported by proof of address such as a recent utility bill.
Superintendent Mark Saunders, from Avon and Somerset Police, who is the South West's regional lead tackling metal theft, said: "Tornado is already in operation in other parts of the country having been trialed successfully earlier in the year in Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland.
"These three police areas have seen a significant drop, approximately 60% with Durham achieving a 74% reduction, in the levels of opportunist metal theft, without seeing a rise in other opportunistic crime types, which is extremely positive.
"We have been successfully working with scrap dealers for a number of years with an aim to decreasing the market in which thieves can operate both as a force and as a region and this is a natural progression. Because this is a national scheme, thieves are going to find it difficult to dispose of their stolen goods wherever they go. By working in this way – we will avoid merely displacing the crime."
Police are reminding anyone taking metal to yards to sell to ensure they take the necessary documents and proof of I.D. to avoid being turned away and are encouraging the public to alert their local police if they are not asked to provide appropriate identification.
Officers across the region are also working with dealers to gather intelligence, and encourage the reporting of suspected thieves.
If you have information about illegal activities in your area, you can either contact your local policing team by calling 101.
Alternatively you can call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org they never ask for your name or trace your