CPS Clamps Down on Metal Theft

01/02/2012

The CPS is preparing new legal guidance for prosecutors on offences under the Theft Acts will, for the first time, include specific advice for prosecutors on dealing with the theft of metal. On 30 January 2012, Nathan Hallsworth was sentenced to six months in prison for handling stolen goods, following the theft of 169 brass plaques from St Mary’s Church, Mirfield.

On 30 January 2012, Nathan Hallsworth was sentenced to six months in prison for handling stolen goods, following the theft of 169 brass plaques from St Marys Church, Mirfield in September 2010 an act which caused considerable revulsion in the local community. And copper cable thief Robert Miles was sentenced to four years in prison in September 2011 for theft of cables from an electricity sub-station, causing a power surge that resulted in thousands of pounds worth of damage and the evacuation of elderly residents form a care home in Roberttown.


Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS Yorkshire and Humberside, Martin Goldman said:


"These two crimes successfully prosecuted by our staff in CPS West Yorkshire, demonstrate very clearly that metal theft is far from being a victimless crime. Opportunistic theft of metal can damage homes, churches, public monuments, memorials and businesses. 

"Damage to railway cables causes immense damage as well as inconveniencing the travelling public.

"Desecration of memorials - whether public ones to our  war dead or private ones to family members  - is unspeakable and causes  immense heartache for the families, as we have seen in Mirfield. Tampering with substation cables is dangerous, foolhardy, and the consequences can be devastating, as the residents of Roberttown discovered.

"It is important we take a firm stand against this type of offending.  We will be issuing guidance to our prosecutors nationwide specifically to deal with this crime.

"When metal theft occurs, whether it is railway cables or commemorative metal plaques we will mount a robust prosecution of those responsible. Victims or witnesses of potential metal theft play a crucial role in helping us to prosecute and I urge them to report these crimes to the police as soon as possible. The sooner the police are able to act, the more likely it is that they will be able to gather the evidence we need to prosecute."