The Home Office has set up a metal theft task force to co-ordinate action across departments and law enforcement agencies. It will target metal thieves and scrap metal dealers who trade in stolen goods.
The scale of metal theft is rising rapidly as the world wide prices for scrap metal increase. In recent years, prices for metals have risen dramatically due to rapid industrialization in India and China. The metals most commonly stolen are copper, aluminum, brass and bronze.
The new multi-agency taskforce will be led by the British Transport Police. It will develop intelligence, coordinate activity and target and disrupt criminal networks – both the thieves and also the criminal market, including rogue elements of the scrap metal industry.
Crime Prevention Minister Lord Henley welcomed today’s announcement: ‘The Government recognises that metal theft is a serious and growing national and international problem that causes significant damage to communities, businesses, and the UK’s infrastructure telecommunications, rail and power networks.’