Scrapyards urged to sign agreement

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ALL scrapyards in South Yorkshire are to be asked to only from people able to produce legitimate forms of identification – as police continue to wage war on those cashing in on stolen metal.

Police officers want to make it more difficult to sell stolen metal in a bid to reduce the havoc caused by metal thieves across the county.

The plan was revealed after Manor Boxing Club in Sheffield was wrecked by thieves who pulled down the ceiling and tore out toilets and showers to steal copper piping.

Chief Superintendent Bill Hotchkiss, responsible for the police response to metal theft in South Yorkshire, said the Government is also hoping to bring in a new law banning scrapyards from trading in cash, forcing them to use only traceable methods of financial transactions, including cheques and cards.

“The aim of the agreement we want scrapyards to sign up to is to remove the attractiveness of the crime to those who see scrap metal theft as a lucrative business.

“We know we will never eliminate the problem but we hope asking scrapyards to cooperate with us will help us control it.”

At its peak 541 scrap metal offences were recorded in South Yorkshire last September. Last month the figure was 316, he said.

There have been 81 cable thefts from railways in Sheffield in the last 12 months.

“We run ongoing operations in South Yorkshire, and there has been one this week as part of a national week of action with the British Transport Police,” said Chf Supt Hotchkiss.

Det Insp Mick Jackson, of BTP’s dedicated scrap metal team Operation Leopard, said: “The theft of cable has a direct impact on the everyday lives of the travelling public. It really is an attack on the community and causes misery to thousands of commuters.”

n We wish to point out that a photograph on yesterday’s front page showed boxer Kell Brook and not Manor Boxing Club trainer Steve Barnes.