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Campaign launched to combat catalytic converter theft

1/30/2013

 

Hertfordshire Constabulary is supporting crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers, to launch a new and innovative campaign to tackle catalytic converter (CAT) thefts.

 

Catalytic converter thefts have been increasing across the UK over the last three years, as thieves steal them for the precious metals they contain. These thefts can leave victims facing hefty bills, not to mention the extreme inconvenience caused. 

 

The Lost ‘CATS’ campaign is running for three months and aims to encourage the public to get involved in combating this type of crime by providing valuable information. During the campaign Crimestoppers are offering cash rewards of up to £1000 for information on the theft of catalytic converters.

 

Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd said: “I have lobbied the government to introduce legislation to make it easier to catch those involved in metal theft and make it harder for criminals to sell stolen metals.

 

“This new campaign highlights the important role that the public can play in reducing this type of crime, effectively by putting a price on the head of criminals, and building on the good work that has been done in the county over the last two years.”

 

Inspector Paul Lawrence, of Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Crime Reduction Unit, said: “We have been concentrating on reducing metal theft in the county over the last few years and this action has seen a general fall in the number of incidents occurring. However, the theft of catalytic converters has been one type of crime that has been rising.

 

“We have been working with local garages, providing free catalytic converter marking and we are also working with scrap dealers to make it difficult for metal thieves to make a profit from this type of crime. This new campaign should make it even more difficult for criminals who are involved in this kind of crime to operate.”

 

Terry Pearce, from the Eastern Region Special Operation Unit, added “We are funding Crimestoppers to run this campaign, not only because it is costing the UK economy millions, but because of the human impact it can have on the community. We have heard of ambulance service vehicles being out of action due to this criminal activity which is truly despicable – innocent lives are being put at risk due to the greed of thieves. Anyone with a vehicle is potentially at risk of being a victim, but in particular van users and 4x4 owners”.

 

Ann Scott, Crimestoppers Eastern Regional Manager, commented: “Every day people trying to get to work, taking the children to school or driving their elderly neighbour to the doctors are being affected by this expensive and inconvenient crime. You can play your part in helping to keep our community safe by contacting us with information on catalytic convertor thefts, or indeed any type of metal theft, you might know about. We want to know who is stealing them, who is handling them and where they are going”.

 

Drivers and businesses can take steps to protect their catalytic converters by buying a clamp, such as the Secured by Design recommended CatClamp MAXX, available from www.catsafe.org.uk that secures the CAT to the vehicle, making it very difficult to steal. There’s also a number of CAT marking kits available on the market, which means stolen CATs can be traced back to the vehicle it was taken from, which acts as an effective deterrent to criminals.

 

If you have any information about catalytic convertor theft, or metal theft in general, please contact Hertfordshire Constabulary on the non-emergency 101. Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or complete the secure online form at: www.crimestoppers-uk.org. Crimestoppers never take any personal details or ask for your name and we don’t trace or record your call. Those giving information will not have to give a statement to Police or go to court. You could even get a cash reward of up to £1000 for your information. Rewards can only be claimed on 0800 555 111.