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The Business Crime Reduction Centre is hosting a free conference on Friday, March 22, at the Holiday Inn, Doncaster, to raise awareness of metal theft. Topics include:
• Market forces driving the theft of metal
• The international nature of metal theft
• The impact of new legislation in the UK
• Partnership working between the police and private sector
• Technical solutions for the prevention of metal theft
• Other vulnerable commodities and security threats
The main speaker will be Chief Constable David Crompton, South Yorkshire Police. Other speakers include Detective Supt John McBride, British Transport Police; Simon Davies, BT and representatives from the Home Office, UK Border Agency and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).
David Ransom, Chief Executive of the Business Crime Reduction Centre said: “Metal theft is an extremely serious crime. Not only does it cost local businesses greatly, it can also lead to serious injury and death. The recent crackdowns have seen crime figures reduce but there is still more to do. This event will address the importance of tackling metal crime head on.”
BCRC is delivered with Yorkshire-based charity, People United Against Crime and South Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Humberside Police forces. BCRC is part financed by the European Union through the Yorkshire and Humber European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007-2013. For more information – visit: www.bcrc-uk.org.
Metal theft affects businesses, communities and individuals. The Association of Chief Police Officers estimates that metal theft costs the UK economy £770m a year, with 7,000 reported crimes every month. Ten 10 people were killed in the UK last year as a result of metal theft.
UK insurers reportedly pay out £1m a week to victims of metal theft (according to the ABI).This includes the loss of services such as telecommunications and power, disruption of rail networks and the de-roofing of religious buildings and theft of memorials.
In 2011, British Transport Police launched Operation Tornado to combat this prolific crime, the initiative contributed to a 51 per cent fall in reported crimes. However metal theft still remains a great threat to the UK economy. The industry is pressing for new legislation to make it tougher to profit from the crime. The proposed Scrap Metal Dealers Bill will tighten controls on how freely metals such as copper can be traded.