Day of action against metal theftsBy Hugh Fort
October 11, 2012
Officers around the Thames Valley are targeting people illegally trading or carrying scrap metal in a day of action around the country.
Instances of metal theft have been reduced by almost 50 per cent across the force area and officers are citing the successful Operation Tornado as the reason why.
Under the operation, anyone wanting to sell scrap metal must give a proof of identity, including a current address which dealers then record.
In September 2011, there was a spate of thefts of from church roofs around Wokingham and in Febuary the same year thieves caused mayhem by stealing metal manhole covers.
There have also been several high-profile metal thefts in Bracknell Forest, including the theft of lead from the roof of St Margaret Clitherow Church in Birch Hill, which led to the church closing.
Other incidents include thefts from the roof of Bracknell Leisure Centre in Bagshot Road, and alloys and spare wheels being stolen from cars.
Police in the borough also say it is likely people who break into detatched garages are looking for metal items.
Detective Inspector Ian Wood, South-East regional metal theft co-ordinator, said: ”This day of action is part of an ongoing national programme to combat metal theft.
“The day of action is running in tandem with a roads policing operation where we are targeting people who illegally carry scrap metal without the necessary licences.
“Officers are also visiting scrap metal dealers to ensure their continued co-operation with Op Tornado, which has seen a significant drop in metal theft since its introduction in April.
“We want to continue that trend and will continue to use a variety of activities and initiatives to tackle metal theft.”