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Police in Derbyshire are urging people to be alert to rogue scrap and waste collectors who are making off with copper and lead from houses, churches, schools, and memorials. The thieves often put the metal in wheelie bins and wheelbarrows for an easy getaway. Scrap metal prices have recently risen which accounts for the increase in thefts.
Use licensed traders only
The police have called on people to make sure they are using legitimate licensed traders and to report any suspicious activity. Legitimate companies will have a scrap metal dealer’s license and a waste carrier’s licensed which is issued by the Environment Agency. A legitimate trader will only offer payment via cheque or bank transfer and they’ll also offer a receipt for any collection.
Officers have urged people to keep an eye out for unusual activity around churches, memorials, and derelict properties.
Protect your property from metal theft
A police spokesperson commented that metal theft is not a victimless crime, and it can cause distress to victims and potential environmental problems if waste is fly-tipped. Police have offered these words of advice for members of the public;