Scrap metal dealers had police visitors yesterday as forces in Yorkshire joined a national clampdown on metal thefts.
The problem, spurred by increased global demand which has pushed up scrap prices, costs the British economy an estimated £770m per year, with some thefts causing widespread disruption to transport and endangering lives.
Yesterday a number of operations were carried out by police forces across Yorkshire and throughout the country. North Yorkshire Police arrested three people on suspicion of scrap metal theft in one of its operation in the Scotch Corner area, while in Hull police and other agencies worked to target roads used by those often linked with metal theft transportation.
In West Yorkshire officers visited scrap metal dealers and targeted those thought to be involved in metal and cable theft.
Insp Steve Palmer of West Yorkshire Police said: “Ten people have died in metal theft incidents this year nationally.
“People have been severely burnt or killed stealing electrical cable and we have seen massive disruption to residents and to the rail network as a result of thefts.
“The thieves will literally take anything from lead on church roofs to memorial plaques and electric cabling.”