Police operation targets metal theft

Published:  02 September, 2011

DERBY: Derbyshire police have started an operation aimed at tackling "the growing problem" of metal thefts throughout the county.

The issue has been made worse as the increasing demand for metals has led to an increase in prices and, in turn, to more thefts of copper, lead, iron and steel and builders merchants are at high risk, police say.

Operation Calanthia, which will run until the end of the year, will include enforcement action against thieves and others involved in selling stolen metals.

Officers will be identifying potentially vulnerable premises across the county offering advise on crime prevention.

There will also be planned enforcement action at selected times and dates to target those involved in stealing and conveying metal in the first place.

Superintendent Debbie Mathews, of the force's Operational Support department, is leading the initiative. She said: "Theft of scrap metal is an increasing issue for us as a force and due to current market conditions it can be quite lucrative for thieves to try to profit from this area.

"One crime can have such a far reaching impact. The aim of the operation is to make it as difficult as possible for metals to be stolen in the first place and also difficult for those who seek to trade in such stolen goods.

Popular metals that are being stolen in Derbyshire include copper, lead, iron, steel, aluminium and precious metals, including those from catalytic converters.

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