HOTLINE: UK metal theft operations bear fruit

Police forces across the UK have reported a big fall in the number of metal thefts after a series of operations to tackle the problem over the past two years.

In Cambridgeshire, where police launched Operation Magnet with local councils and the British Transport Police, the number of reported metal thefts fell 65% to 810 in the year to March 31, 2013, while in Cumbria, metal thefts have fallen by 30% since Operation Amber was launched last year.

Insurance claims for metal theft from Anglican churches, targeted by thieves mainly because of the lead in their roofs, fell to 930 last year from more than 2,600 in 2011.

Operation Tornado, a nationwide initiative that was piloted in Yorkshire, has seen cases of metal theft fall 39% in that region over the past year. The initiative has now been extended across the country, but more regional operations, both long- and short-term, are also being undertaken.

Operation Precious covers the Thames Valley area, Operation Symphony is in Oxfordshire and Hertfordshire, the West Midlands has Operation Steel and Lincolnshire has Operation Brompton.

Hotline’s favourite is in Derbyshire, however, where police launched Operation Calanthia, named after an old English girl’s name meaning ‘beautiful flower’.


May 30, 2013

13:10 GMT