Metal thieves hit county

SHOCKING figures released today have revealed a massive increase in the number of metal thefts in Suffolk.High demand in developing countries such as China have led to scrap metal and industrial materials being highly sought after, and in Ipswich alone, the number of metal thefts have soared.

SHOCKING figures released today have revealed a massive increase in the number of metal thefts in Suffolk.

High demand in developing countries such as China have led to scrap metal and industrial materials being highly sought after, and in Ipswich alone, the number of metal thefts have soared.

According to figures released by Suffolk police, the number of metal thefts in the county has almost tripled in two years.

In April 2004 to March 2005, 43 crimes where metals were stolen were reported to the constabulary and in April 2005 to March 2006, 80 crimes were reported.


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However, in the last financial year, from April 2006 to March 2007, Suffolk Police dealt with 131 cases of metal thefts.

Detective Sergeant Richard Crabtree from Suffolk Police said he had seen a rise in the thefts of a range of materials, such as electric cables, water pumps, copper cord, aluminium piping and stainless steel.

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He said: “There has been a significant increase in Suffolk of the thefts of scrap metal and new metal but we have not seen a rise in such crime like some more industrial areas have, in places such as the Midlands and parts of the North.

“The frequency of these thefts has increased due to the demand.”

Norfolk Police have recently launched an enforcement initiative to crack down on the thefts of scrap metal after a 49 per cent rise in incidents in the county.

Sergeant Crabtree said that at present there was no need to conduct a similar campaign in Ipswich and the surrounding area.

He said: “When any criminality reaches a certain level and has a significant impact on Suffolk and the people of Suffolk then we'll get the resources put in to deal with it.”

He advised people to be on their guard and go to a police station for crime prevention advice if they feel their property is not adequately protected from such thefts.

Have you been a victim of metal thieves? What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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