AS one who has suffered numerous thefts of metal, I write with personal experience.
The trouble is the police are unable to prevent it. The answer is to make it difficult to sell scrap. At the moment, any Tom, Dick or Harry can walk into a scrap yard and whatever he may think, the merchant can do nothing. There should be firstly a requirement to obtain a licence, issued only after careful enquiry, to sell more than say 2kg of non-ferrous metal. Secondly, a requirement to complete a form when selling, giving details of where the scrap came from and who is selling it. Make it difficult to sell and it would not be worth stealing.
Some time ago I caught two youths who had taken a wheelbarrow, two metal sinks and some flashing off the Priory roof. They had been stopped by the police but let go, but again caught at the scrap yard. I heard nothing about the damage to my property, but learned later that they had been let go “as the police did not want to give them a criminal record,” – what where they but criminals?
About half a ton of metal was also taken from Gillygate and although I gave a policeman evidence of who had taken it, I have never heard a word.
On another occasion, I came home from town about 4pm and in the drive was a car and trailer loaded with the Priory House front door. I called the police, one man was caught and a second ran off when he heard the police siren coming. I got the door back but nothing was said about putting it back and I have never heard another word. No compensation for the damage. Things have got so bad, I no longer bother to notify the police – they are useless and only turn up after the property has gone. We need a change in the law. Police seem to spend time chasing unlicensed drivers – something which could be done with a number plate recognition camera or two.
JOHN O E HOLMES
Mill Hill Lane