Crimestoppers launch Yorkshire campaign to help anonymously catch the thieves

As catalytic converter thefts rise, Crimestoppers has launched a Yorkshire campaign to help anonymously catch the culprits

Monday, 26th April 2021, 11:49 am
Updated Monday, 26th April 2021, 11:50 am

With the rise in car catalytic converter thefts across the county, the independent charity Crimestoppers has launched a campaign to get anonymous information on those behind the crime.

The campaign, supported by the Neighbourhood Watch Network, reaches out to people who know or suspect individuals involved in this lucrative crime, to remind them that they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously with the information they may have, however small.

The rising value of precious metals found in catalytic converters, such as rhodium and palladium, which are often more expensive than gold, means that converters can often sell for more than £500 on the black market.

Car catalytic converter thefts is on the rise

In Yorkshire, between January to March this year, there were almost 600 catalytic converter thefts reported. This is a 78 per cent increase compared to the same period the year before*.

Gemma Gibbs Yorkshire & Humberside Regional Manager at the charity Crimestoppers, said: “With an increase in people working from home or being furloughed because of the pandemic, thieves are taking full advantage of this, as more cars are parked in driveways or on the street during the day. We know there have been cases where criminals, who work very quickly, have threatened victims who have tried to confront them and some drivers have been repeatedly targeted.

“We know it can be difficult to speak up about crime, especially if it’s about someone you know. Please remember you can speak to Crimestoppers 100% anonymously and you will be doing the right thing, to keep your community safe from crime. For 33 years since our charity started, thousands of people have contacted us daily with their crime information. You can call our UK Contact Centre 24/7 on 0800 555 111 for free, or you can complete a simple, secure anonymous online form at Crimestopers-uk.org, only you will know you contacted us.”

A catalytic converter is located in a car’s exhaust system. It cleans exhaust gases before they leave an exhaust pipe and all new cars sold in Europe since 1993 by law must be fitted with one. Converters in hybrid cars often contain even more expensive, uncorroded metals.

John Hayward-Cripps, CEO of Neighbourhood Watch Network, said: “With catalytic converter theft on the rise it is important we remain vigilant about where we park our cars and what is going on around us. Whenever possible, we encourage you to park your car in busy, well-lit areas, or areas with CCTV coverage. It can take as little as 60 seconds for thieves to steal a catalytic converter, so keep an eye out for your neighbour’s vehicles, and if you suspect anything suspicious report it to the charity Crimestoppers anonymously.”