Labour Action Team gets support of police in clampdown on roof-t

Steve Kermode and Bill Esterson


Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson and Maghull Town Councillor Steve Kermode say they are pleased that police are targeting roof-top lead thieves in East Sefton.

Bill, Cllr Kermode and the Maghull & Lydiate Labour Action Team raised the alert following a spate of lead thefts in the area.

The Labour Action Team is warning residents about the thefts throughout Maghull, Aintree, Melling and specifically Lydiate after that area was targeted.

Maghull Neighbourhood Police this week assured the Labour Action Team that they were carrying out activities in the area to target the problem.

Cllr Kermode said he was delighted the police were taking action, but warned residents they still needed to be extra vigilant.

Cllr Kermode said: "This problem is clearly being taken seriously by the police who tell us there has also been an increase in lead theft incidents in West Lancashire.

"The damage thieves are causing can tally into the thousands because they aren't just taking away the lead, but they are leaving the roof open to the elements which as we know can lead to water damaging the electrics amongst other things.

"We know that the thieves are determined to cash in on the lead and will even masquerade as workmen during the day to remove the clout nails so it is easier and quieter to remove the lead in the dead of night.

"So we need to stay vigilant, not only for ourselves, but also our neighbours and contact the police immediately if you spot anything suspicious."

Metal thefts in the UK have now been identified by the British Transport Police as the second biggest threat to infrastructure after terrorism, Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson heard Parliament this week.

He also praised Maghull Neighbourhood Police for tackling the issue.

Bill said: "Whether it is copper from the side of a railway line, broadband cable, or lead flashing from a school roof, not a day goes by when metal theft does not feature in the daily crime roster for police in the UK’s towns and cities and we are seeing that right here in East Sefton.

"There has been a clear increase in the number of incidents of metal theft with figures for 2011 already double that for the same period in 2010. In the electricity industry alone so far this year, there have been 6700 incidents of theft, which have resulted in 3 fatalities, at least 31 injuries and 135 losses of supply.

"So as well as the nuisance and criminal damage elements of this type of theft, there are other much more dangerous aspects which I don't think opportunist thieves are taking into account when they go out to steal metal.

"I know our local police are dealing with issue both by working to apprehend the thieves and also speaking to scrap metal dealers to put an end to the potential market for stolen goods.

"The local Labour Action Teams have received a number of complaints on this issue and we will continue to work with police to ensure that we can put an end top this spate of thefts."

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