POLICE are taking tough action against scrap metal thieves.
Officers from the Lower Valley Neighbourhood Policing Team joined forces with several other organisations handing out crime prevention advice, and visiting local hotspots and scrap yards throughout the borough.
The enforcement was part of a day of action being run by the Lower Valley NPT team after a substantial increase in the number of scrap metal thefts, mainly due to its increasing value.
In recent weeks nearly a £1,000 worth of lead flashing was stolen from the Smith Art Gallery, Brighouse, and various schools and churches in the Brighouse area have been affected.
Inspector Mohammed Nawaz, who heads the team, said the day was about raising awareness. “We have visited scrap dealers making sure they have all the correct legislation while raising crime prevention issues as well.
“We stopped and checked some of the scrap metal collectors to make sure they had the appropriate licences and we went round some of the most vulnerable premises to raise awareness.
“The day of action yesterday was just the start of the operation and we will continue to perform checks throughout the year. We would like to appeal to the community who are our eyes and ears and encourage them to share information so we can bring the culprits to justice.
“We have had an increase in the last few months with anything from manhole covers to lead flashing and cables, all sorts is being stolen so we just wanted to raise awareness with scrap dealers, with collectors and members of the public.”
Police, environmental health, community warden and councillors were among the organisations taking part in the day of action to hand out crime prevention leaflets mainly in the Brighouse and Lightcliffe and Hipperholme areas.
The leaflet included information about installing CCTV, not leaving ladders and wheelie bins around the premises, looking out for suspicious people, removing bushes or other hiding places and setting up regular checks and increasing security activity.
Anyone who would like to report a suspicious incident should call 0845 6060606.