Operation Tornado sees drop in metal thefts across Wiltshire (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Operation Tornado sees drop in metal thefts across Wiltshire
4:47pm Monday 28th January 2013 in News
The number of reported metal thefts in Wiltshire has fallen dramatically since the start of an operation to tackle them across the county.
The number of reported metal thefts in the county during September 2012 was 77 - a reduction of 127 from September 2011 when 204 were logged.
So far this month, 29 metal thefts have been reported - compared to 131 in January 2012.
Operation Tornado is a multi-agency initiative which was set up last year to tackle the growing national trend of metal thefts.
As part of the operation, a number of local scrap metal dealers were targeted to ascertain whether or not they were trading stolen metal.
Wiltshire Police worked alongside organisations including BT, the Environment Agency, Western Power, the Lead Sheet Association and local government departments in both Wiltshire and Swindon during this operation.
Acting Detective Sergeant James Neighbour, the Wiltshire Police lead for Operation Tornado, said: "This is a significant reduction in a crime which has wide-ranging impacts on local communities.
"This operation is as much about educating those who deal in scrap metal about the pitfalls of buying metal which may be stolen as well as the unannounced raids last year.
" Scrap metal dealers no longer trade in cash - which has had a massive impact on the number of opportunist metal thieves trying their luck to sell stolen metal on.
" Metal theft causes misery for thousands of people across the country and evidence in 2011 highlighted the fact that criminals were diversifying and targeting metal from other areas including power cables, utilities pipe work and telecommunications cabling.
"Although these figures are positive, we will continue targeting these criminals and I appeal to anyone who has information on metal thefts to come forward. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence."
Anyone wishing to report a crime should contact Wiltshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.