Landlord starts crackdown on metal theft
Housing associations in Bury have been furnishing properties with a DNA tracking substance in an attempt to tackle on metal theft.
Bury Council, Six Town Housing and other businesses joined with the police last December to launch the new scheme which marks lead, copper and other metal compounds in housing with a traceable coating.
Officers say they are working closely with scrap metal dealers to identity any stolen metal by scanning for traces of the substance.
The area has been badly hit by the surge in the number of metal thefts in the country.
One elderly lady’s home was destroyed while she was in hospital by thieves who ripped out the central heating boiler and pipe work, flooding the property and causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.
A Six Town Housing spokesperson said: ‘We have seen a increase across the area of people stealing metal from the houses.
‘It was so sad about the little old lady, lots of her personal belongings were destroyed.’
Superintendent Mark Granby, Bury Police, said: ‘Metal theft is not a victimless crime, we are determined to clamp down on these unscrupulous thieves.’
The number of metal thefts in the UK has doubled in the past five years with 60,000 offences in the first 10 months of 2011.
In some areas, metal theft is said to make up a tenth of total reported crime and the British Transport Police now ranks the issue second only to battling terrorism in its priorities.