Fall in metal thefts

POLICE say the theft of metal is plummeting thanks to a host of operations aimed at driving down the crime.

Metal thefts across the Cleveland Police area peaked at 4.6 per cent of all crime in October last year.

That has now been slashed to two per cent by the force, which is taking part in a further crackdown tomorrow as part of National Metal Theft Day of Action.

In Hartlepool, just five incidents of metal thefts were recorded in January, compared with 40 in October.

Stockton district had 20 such crimes in January compared to 70 three months earlier.

Temporary Detective Chief Superintendent Gordon Lang, of Cleveland Police, said: “As metal theft became a prominent issue up and down the country, as well as in Cleveland, we worked hard to tackle it and poured a lot of our resources into it.

“This hard work and effort has meant that metal thefts have reduced across the force, which in turn means a reduction in the number of victims of crime and helping to reduce the effect that this has on our economy.”

Operation Hansel was launched across all four districts, including Hartlepool and Stockton, in response to the rising crime, and it saw an identification scheme set up so people selling metal at scrap yards have to leave their details.

Police in Hartlepool have also been posted on the gates of scrap yards and have been walking the streets at night in a bid to catch thieves red-handed.

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