Force Backs Stolen Catalytic Converter Campaign
Bedfordshire Police is backing a new Crimestoppers' campaign to tackle the issue of stolen catalytic converters or 'Lost CATS' across the eastern region.
There has been a dramatic increase in catalytic converter thefts in the last three years, which can run into thousands of pounds for a victim to replace and can be extremely inconvenient. A catalytic convertor is part of the exhaust system and thieves steal them for the precious metals they contain.
The aim of the charity's campaign is to encourage the public to play their part in giving information about this type of crime – with metal theft as a whole costing the UK economy around £770 million per year. Although metal theft in general is seeing a steady decrease across the eastern region, due to various measures introduced by police, the theft of catalytic converters is still on the increase and can often be connected to other forms of serious and organised crime.
Chief Inspector Shane Roberts says the force is working hard to target people who illegally trade or carry scrap metal. He said: "We are playing our part encouraging members of the public to contact us or Crimestoppers with any information relating to catalytic converter thefts, or any type of metal theft, so we can act robustly and bring offenders to justice.
"We will also be encouraging members of the public to etch their catalytic converter, so if recovered it can be traced back to them. Etching kits are particularly useful for businesses with a number of vehicles to protect.
"Theft of metal wrecks the national infrastructure, affecting utility supplies, rail and phone networks, causing hundreds of pounds of damage and replacement costs when stolen from homes and businesses. When vehicles are attacked and catalytic converters are stolen, this causes huge disruption to individuals and family life. People cannot get to work and lose money as a result, children cannot get to school and any personal plans are wrecked-notwithstanding the cost of replacing and hike in insurance premiums.
"We are all facing tough times financially and any theft of metal causes people personal misery and trouble. Bedfordshire Police takes this very seriously due to the impact that this crime has on people's lives.
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