Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Sheffield charity unveils new website to tackle metal thieves

A new website set up to tackle the problem of metal theft has been given the backing of police.

Scrapwatch, devised by South Yorkshire group People United Against Crime (PUAC), allows victims to alert traders to thefts online.

The scheme is being championed by South Yorkshire Police and major companies, including BT and Northern Power Grid.

PUAC said the website would make it "much more difficult for thieves to operate successfully".

Scrapwatch has been funded by grants totalling about £10,000, and PUAC said it hoped most scrap dealers in South Yorkshire would sign up to the scheme.

Thefts are posted online and mapped on the website before an email alert is sent out to members.

Inspector Jason Booth, from South Yorkshire Police, said: "The metal industry is becoming more regulated and Scrapwatch is another tool to help catch thieves and reduce the consequences of metal theft for the whole community."

Hayley Newton, from scrap metal merchant Walter Heselwood, in Sheffield said: "I think it is a good idea. We want to be able to keep a look out for what what has been stolen and this will help make people aware of that."

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