Police chief will target metal thefts

A TOP female police officer appointed to tackle high-profile offenders has burglaries and metal thefts high on her list of priorities.

Detective Inspector Lyn Peart has moved into the role at Peterlee CID after her predecessor Neil Edgar took up a similar position in Bishop Auckland.

Det Insp Peart, who has 14 years policing experience and was the first female advisor at Durham’s armed police unit in 2000, said she aims to target scrap thieves who are taking items like bikes and are even resorting to stealing child’s swings from gardens.

She said: “I hope to have a big impact on the reduction and detection of crime and to ensure that victims feel confident in the way they have been dealt with and are satisfied with the service they have been given.”

The 35-year-old has already been relishing her first three weeks in the role.

She said: “It’s a busy area.

“There are a lot of good people that we need to serve and make sure the local issues they have got are tackled, from not only a core policing point of view, but also from a crime investigation viewpoint.”

Det Insp Peart is in charge of CID, crime teams and prisoner handling teams.

She said: “Our priorities for the Peterlee area are burglaries, vehicle crime and metal thefts.

“We have days of action planned around all of these.”

In the coming weeks, the police are planning operations targeting metal thefts, as well as looking at ways of preventing the offences.

Det Insp Peart said: “We will be looking at crime prevention, making sure that people secure items, whether they are bikes or items from renovations.

“We are getting more and more reports of scrap collectors coming around and taking these without permission.

“We need to have an education phase and also make it tough for people taking these.

“We are also looking at scrap merchants themselves, who are making a business for thieves taking metal in.

“It’s a big country-wide problem because of the price of metal. It makes it so much easier to take a little girl’s bike from the garden or a swing.

“It’s such a big impact on everybody.”

Det Insp Peart started out as a PC at Durham City, where she spent five years, including time in armed response.

She was then promoted to sergeant, covering Peterlee and Seaham, and also spent two-and-a-half years in neighbourhood policing at Easington.

She was then sergeant at Peterlee for eight years.