Watch out there may be a metal thief about – but you can stop them

PC Nigel Greenwood
PC Nigel Greenwood

THE rise in metal prices means we have seen an increase in thefts of scrap metal from people’s home and businesses – and even schools and churches.

Sometimes, if lead is stripped from a roof, the theft goes unnoticed until the rain starts and water begins to flow through ceilings – adding the cost of repairs to that of replacing the stolen items.

We’ve been doing a lot to clampdown on these crimes and have been carrying out regular checks on vehicles being used by scrap metal merchants to ensure that the materials they are handling aren’t stolen.

Often those who steal metal are carrying out other offences and recently we’ve seized two vans that were being driven without insurance.

On one of these occasions one of our PCSOs, who was on patrol on bicycle, followed a van for over an hour after complaints that the people inside were removing metal from gardens and yards.

This van was eventually seized and the passengers had to make their own way back to the east of the county.

We would ask that you remove any pieces of scrap metal that are lying around outside your property and either dispose of them or store them somewhere secure. Coating metal with anti-climb grease or even normal paint also makes it less desirable to thieves.

While on the subject of crime prevention, some school children have been helping us design leaflets to give to cyclists. During the summer holidays more people are out and about on bikes and this means there is more opportunity for them to be stolen. Use a strong lock, attach your bike to something sturdy and lock it away in a shed or garage at night if you can. Marking your postcode on it will also make it easier to return if you are unlucky enough to have it stolen.

Finally we’d really like it if you checked out our Facebook page so that you can keep up to date with what we are doing. Search for Lancs Police and then have a look at our Lancaster page – which covers Lancaster, Morecambe and Wyre.