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Lead Thefts Spark Calls For A Crackdown
8:01am 29th January 2012
A spate of lead thefts in Cornwall sparks calls for tougher punishments.
Churches and schools have been targeted.
Police reckon it is so the scrap metal can be sold on.
An e-petition has been set up demanding a crackdown.
David Watson from the Diocese of Truro said:
"It's not just the cost of the stolen lead. It's the fact that the roof then leaks then there's damage to the walls and materials inside. A church organ was destroyed in one instance and that's very, very significant for a church that is already struggling to stay afloat"
"What happens to the local community? They feel quite hurt, and that's become even more immediate now that war memorials are being attacked, schools and other buildings There's also a great strength of feeling that when people are prosecuted they should feel the consequences"
Police are urging us to report suspicious behaviour.
The Inspector for Falmouth and Truro is Mark Richards says:
“If you get the odd couple of men wearing dark hats over the weekend or late of an evening. driving a pick up truck or a transit van type vehicle and hanging around a place you wouldn't expect to see them, they probably are suspicious. So, give us a call and we'll go around and look at them"
"Think about lighting, think about CCTV, if you've got the money to invest in that. Think about getting security guards in if it's a building site or something like that, If you can block the entrance to your premises with a vehicle of your own when you're not there then think about doing that"
The Home Secretary has said she plans to make it a criminal offence to purchase scrap metal for cash, and increase penalties under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964.
Farmers groups are welcoming the news.
NFU chief rural affairs adviser David Collier said:
“We are very pleased to see this move from government, as metal theft has become a scourge for the farming industry"
“This will make it so much harder to sell stolen metal, and we hope it will deter criminals from engaging in this practice"
8:01am 29th January 2012
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