Anyone trying to sell scrap metal to a dealer is to be asked for identification as part of a police scheme to tackle stolen goods.
The PSNI’s Crime Prevention Unit has launched an initiative designed to deter metal thieves from selling on their ill-gotten gains.
It requires participating scrap metal dealers to ask anyone who wants to sell scrap for identification and proof of address in an effort to check it has come from a legitimate source.
Chief Superintendent Alan Todd explained: “Quite simply, the biggest risk of metal and cable theft is that it can put innocent lives at risk.
“In the 12 months to September 30 this year, preliminary figures indicate that 1,469 incidents of metal theft have been reported across Northern Ireland. While that is a drop of 14.8% on the same period last year, tackling metal theft remains a police priority.”
In addition to asking for identification and proof of address from individuals selling scrap metal, registered scrap metal dealers participating in the scheme will record the registration numbers of the vehicles being used, have CCTV recording in place on their sites, and have undertaken to share this information with police.
Justice Minister David Ford said: “Although the number of reported incidents of metal theft are lower this year than last, we continue our efforts to further reduce its impact on the community.
“I welcome this partnership working between the PSNI and scrap metal dealers and recyclers.
“It is an important step in tackling metal theft by reducing the opportunity for criminals to convert stolen metal into cash.”