Day of action on metal thieves in Calderdale

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Police have this morning carried out an operation targeting metal thieves in Calderdale.

The day of action on Wednesday was part of a national campaign on metal theft - a crime which has seen an increase because of high metal prices, particularly for copper and lead.

Officers from each of Calderdale’s four Neighbourhood Policing Teams were joined by other agencies in a high-profile show of force across the district.

Key aims of the operation were to detect offences and to disrupt criminal behaviour.

Inspector Mohammed Nawaz who led the operation, said: “It is simple – we will not tolerate metal theft in this area.

“By having a highly visible presence across the district we showed that we are doing what we can to tackle the problem.”

During the day officers joined partners to visit all scrap metal dealers in the district to ensure they were complying with legislation that governs their daily activities.

They also patrolled known hotspots for metal theft and targeted the district’s borders for any travelling criminals moving stolen metal.

Crime prevention advice was also given to places that have previously proven to be vulnerable to metal theft.

“These patrols and activities were deliberately highly visible so residents could see officers in their area dealing with the problem,” added Insp Nawaz.

“And that includes criminals – if they see officers around they are much less likely to offend – and they should be warned – we will be back carrying out similar operations soon.”

Mark Burns-Williamson, Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Working alongside local councils, and Coun Mehboob Khan from the Local Government Association, I had been calling nationally for better controls on the scrap metal trade for many years, as I know how important it is to stamp out this problem. Those who are currently dealing scrap metal need to realise that under the forthcoming licensing regime we have secured, we will be calling time forever on the minority of those in this business who are not playing by the rules.

“Many community groups, places of worship, businesses and public services, as well as the rail network in particular, have been hit hard by these criminals. I support West Yorkshire Police’s efforts with partners to keep the pressure on, and am confident that by working together we can make this the beginning of the end entirely for those who have caused so much misery and chaos for others through metal theft.”