60% hike in lead thefts but metal crime down overall

There was a sixty per cent increase in the number of lead thefts in the North West during the last financial year although metal theft generally declined, it’s been revealed.

The PSNI reported an increase in the theft of lead in the wider G District from 66 to 106 between 2012/13 and 2013/14. But the theft of copper (down from 83 to 46); steel (down from eight to three); and aluminium (down from three to two), declined.

There was also a decline in the theft of other metals and scrap metals. Overall, metal theft declined from 189 to 168 (down 21).

In Londonderry there were 125 metal thefts (down from 137); in Limavady - 15 (down from 22); in Magherafelt - 13 (down from 16); and in Strabane - 15, up from 14.

According to the PSNI: “The metal theft figures represent offences of burglary, robbery and theft where metal has been stolen and where property details indicate that it is possible the property was stolen for its metal value.”

During 2013/14, B and G Districts experienced the highest levels of metal theft (224 offences and 168 offences respectively), followed by H District with 123 offences.