Thames Valley has been revealed as the UK’s capital for metal theft, having seen more incidents of recorded metal theft than any other sub-region in 2018.
New research conducted by metals4U has uncovered some of the key trends and stats relating to the issue of metal theft.
1,193 instances of metal theft were recorded in Thames Valley, which represents an increase of 22% on last year’s figure.
949 incidents were recorded in Cleveland and 905 in West Midlands.
Five sub-regions experienced increases of more than 100%, including Dorset, which has seen metal theft soar by a whopping 287% between 2017 and 2018.
At the other end of the scale, South Wales experienced the fewest incidents of recorded metal theft in 2018, with just 71, while Merseyside, South Wales and Dyfed-Powys saw figures drop by a third.
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics state that 16,552 incidents of metal theft were recorded across England and Wales in 2018, up 25% on the previous year’s figure.
The ten regions that experienced the most incidents of metal theft during 2018:
1. Thames Valley 1,193
2. Cleveland 949
3. West Midlands 905
4. Lancashire 879
5. West Yorkshire 857
6. Northumbria 709
7. South Yorkshire 684
8. Greater Manchester 681
9. West Mercia 594
10. Nottinghamshire 569
metals4U founder and CEO Paul McFadyen said: “As a business that supplies to metals to customers across a range sectors, we know how important the issue of metal theft is and how much damage it can cause, and the Thames Valley region has been hit harder than any other.
“It is encouraging to note the initiatives and action being taken by organisations like Network Rail and The British Transport Police towards tackling the issue, but an overall increase of 25% from 2017 into 2018 shows there’s plenty more work to be done.
“And, while the introduction of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act in 2013 enforced a ban on cash sales, and required dealers to obtain licences, it’s disappointing to learn that an estimated one third of dealers have not renewed those licenses.
“The Scrap Metal Dealers Act six years ago did have an immediate impact on tackling the issue, and saw figures plummet, but the recent spike is perhaps a reflection that its effectiveness is diminishing.
“Every year, metal theft causes misery to thousands of individuals, who see vital train services cancelled, and to business owners, whose livelihoods are being threatened by forced closures or expensive repair-work.
“So, we’re calling on the government to allocate more resource to tackling the issue on a regional level, and we’re encouraging members of the public to do their bit by following Network Rail’s advice and reporting all suspicious behaviour.”
Learn more about the regional trends behind metal theft: https://www.metals4u.co.uk/blog/the-regional-trends-behind-metal-theft