police team set up to tackle metal theft in Burnham area
new police team has been formed to tackle metal theft across West
Somerset, including the Burnham-On-Sea area.
team, which comprises four Special Constables and a volunteer,
will work alongside the constabulary's existing anti metal theft
to cost the UK approximately £1billion a year, metal theft
has been increasing nationally due to the global rise in metal
prices resulting in inconvenience and expense to thousands of
people and in some cases causing risk to life.
churches in Burnham and the surrounding areas have been suffered
from led theives removing the material from their rooves in recent
new team of specials and volunteers will assist with the coordination
and visits to scrap metal dealers in the Somerset West area as
part of 'Operation Tornado'.
initiative was launched in June and aims to deter both would-be
thieves and handlers by asking scrap metal yards to ensure anyone
selling them metal provides photo I.D. supported by a utility
measures make it easier to trace people, constricting the market
in which thieves can operate and making it more difficult to sell-on
Tim Powell-Gill, who is leading the new team in Somerset West,
said: "This is only one of many examples of the support to
the regular officers and local communities given by the Special
Constabulary in their own time. In 2011 over 26,000 hours were
put in by specials in the Somerset West area supporting front-line
launch of the new team coincides with changes in legislation that
came in to effect this week. Changes have been made to the Legal
Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act, which
has now outlawed cash transactions at metal recycling yards across
England and Wales.
Superintendent Mark Saunders, from Avon and Somerset Police, who
is the South West's regional lead tackling metal theft, said:
"Since we launched the regional Metal Theft Coordination
Team in the South West six months ago, we have seen almost a 50%
reduction in metal thefts in the Avon and Somerset area. This
is extremely encouraging but we won't be complacent."
you have information about illegal metal thefts in the Burnham
area, contact the local policing team by dialling 101.