SCRAP yards have thrown their weight behind a new initiative to tackle metal theft.
Anyone who wants to sell scrap has to provide photo identification to deter criminals from cashing in on stolen cables, drain covers and other metal objects.
The number of crimes in Wakefield has dropped from 900 between 2010 and 2011 to just 293 from January 2012 to June.
Sgt Dan Tillett said: “Wakefield police have worked tirelessly with partners to reduce both the number of recorded metal theft offences and the impact of such crimes across the district, since its emergence in 2010. The huge reductions are a testament to the hard work of the police and partner agencies.”
On Monday he appeared at Wakefield Council’s Community Safety Overview and Scrutiny panel on Monday.
He told councillors all scrap yards in the district had agreed to a voluntary scheme where anyone selling metal has to provide photographic identification.
Sharon Johnson, director of Horbury Waste Traders, said: “Everybody in the scrap trade has to stick together because if you get one bad apple it will rot the rest of us.”
This week police carried out raids at ten scrap yards across West Yorkshire. Officers arrested 28 people, seized £100,000 in cash and a large amount of stolen metal.
Anyone with information about metal theft should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.