Derbyshire metal thieves hunted in police crackdown

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Police have started a four-month operation to tackle the growing problem of metal theft in Derbyshire.

The crackdown follows a rise in thefts from railway lines, sub-stations, churches, scrapyards and statues around the county, said police.

Officers will visit scrap metal merchants and offer crime prevention advice to potentially vulnerable premises.

There will also be more effort given to catching thieves in the act.

'Lucrative for thieves'

Police said they thought the rise in metal prices was responsible for an increase in thefts of copper, lead, iron, steel, aluminium and precious metals.

Supt Debbie Matthews said: "Theft of scrap metal is an increasing issue for us as a force and due to current market conditions it can be quite lucrative for thieves to try to profit from this area.

"The aim of this operation is to make it as difficult as possible for metals to be stolen in the first place and also difficult for those who seek to trade in such stolen goods.

"We will be carrying out some co-ordinated activity targeting those involved in this crime and trying to raise awareness with scrap metal merchants and the public at large about what to look out for."

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