In a bid to tackle the theft of metal in the UK the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill MSP, has joined officers from British Transport Police, Lothian Borders Police and Crimestoppers to launch the ‘Cut out Metal Theft’ campaign at a multi-agency roadcheck in Leith, Edinburgh.
The campaign, developed in-house by British Transport Police and Crimetoppers in conjunction with other partners, is the first of its kind aimed at encouraging the public to report metal theft and features radio-ads, running throughout June, and a distinct identifiable image to be used on posters, leaflets and postcards.
There is also a dedicated website www.metaltheftscotland.org.uk which has been set-up to support the campaign’s activity.
Chief Superintendent Ellie Bird, area commander for the Scotland area of British Transport Police and the chair of the ACPOS metal theft group has said: “The public should be assured that the police and our partner agencies are working closely to clamp down on these thieves and the unscrupulous metal dealers who continue to trade in stolen metal. We do however still need valuable assistance from the public and this campaign is designed to make them aware of the scale of an issue which continues to blight their communities and take their own action by reporting it.”
The Cabinet Secretary also announced new measures to clamp down on metal theft. Mr MacAskill has said: “We welcome the commitment the British Transport Police and ACPOS are making to tackling metal theft, high profile campaigns, heightened co-operation between agencies and bespoke training for officers are part of the solution.”
As well as targeting cables - which disrupt trains, power supplies, telephone and internet connections - thieves have stolen manhole covers, lead from church roofs and even plaques from war memorials.
Kate Jackson, Crimestopper’s national manager for Scotland has also commented: “Crimestoppers wants to encourage the public to fight back against the metal thieves who create severe disruption for local communities and cost millions to the UK economy.”