Sussex

Sussex Police create metal theft team

A team of police officers has been formed in Sussex to combat metal theft.

Sussex Police said the team was set up in Wealden following an increase in thefts from war memorials, church roofs and drain covers.

Insp Peter Cowlett said unscrupulous scrap dealers would be targeted by the force.

Richard Truman, from the British Metals Recycling Association, said there was a "rash of illegal" scrapyards in the country which should be shut down.

Mr Cowlett said: "We're aware of the impact [metal theft] has on people, on infrastructure, on communications and on the railways.

"We're dedicating a few officers around the force to collecting this information and analysing it and targeting some of the more unscrupulous scrap metal dealers in the county."

Norman Baker, Lewes MP and transport minister, said he was part of a cross-ministerial group looking at the issue.

He said: "The problem increases as prices of metal goes up on the world market.

"People are behaving in ways with absolutely no morality."

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