A NEW purge on metal theft is being launched across Yorkshire today.
Crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers is trying to boost the amount of information being called in about the crime which has included the theft of manhole covers, lead for church roofs and war memorials.
Metal theft is estimated to cost the UK £770 million every year.
Crimestoppers regional manager Dave Hunter, 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.
“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.”
Detective Chief Inspector Mabs Hussain from West Yorkshire Police, added: “This is an issue we take very seriously and tackling metal theft is a top priority. But the answer to this issue lies in the communities we serve across West Yorkshire.
“In order to assist us in tackling this type of crime we need members of the public to be our eyes and ears and to pass on any information they have.
“All information helps us to build a clear picture of what is going on – so someone might spot people acting suspiciously by a church and then driving off in a van.
“Just take a note of the registration and pass it on.
“It might be that we have seven other pieces of intelligence linking that van to other thefts and that final piece in the jigsaw helps us to arrest someone.
“I appreciate that sometimes people might only have a suspicion and not feel that it would merit a call to the police. But we now have the new non-emergency number 101 for people to call with matters such as this.
“Or people might not feel comfortable reporting things to the police. And this is where it is so important that we have Crimestoppers on board.”
To pass on information about a metal theft incident, or any crime, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.