Grantham Journal letter: Metal thefts all too common in UK

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I read the article relating to the theft of metal from a garden in Sudbrook. I’m afraid this is becoming all too common again within the UK and Lincolnshire.

To give you a little bit of background on my experience in this area; I was the deputy lead for the UK National Metal Theft Taskforce where I had responsibility for operational activity, developing strategies, industry and agency liaison and coordination a team of UK wide regional coordinators.

We achieved significant successes in terms of reducing metal theft, initially as a result of Operation Tornado (enhanced identification measures) that I successfully developed and rolled out across the UK.

We are in a much better position than we were and we have made significant gains which should not be underestimated, although sustainability and effective enforcement is crucial in terms of supressing metal theft. It was clear that the most effective way of reducing metal theft was to remove the ease at which stolen metal could be sold. I’m afraid enforcement is almost non-existent now which is very worrying for the future.

I was the National Project Lead for Operation Tornado which became the test bed for the new Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 and reduced metal theft by over 40% (and in some locations by over 70%). I was part of the Home Office legislative working group that developed the new Act and I supported Local authorities and police during the implementation process.

I’m recognised as an expert in the field of tackling metal theft and I’m currently working with a number of utility providers and industries to reduce corporate theft which is the hidden element of metal theft.

I sit on the Scottish Metal Theft Working Group and I’m currently part of a group of experts looking to tackle the problem across the Europe. I am speaking at an EU conference in Brussels in a few weeks when we will be looking at what we can do to tackle metal theft.

Robin Edwards

Managing Director

Onis Consulting Limited