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West Yorks tackles copper theft

A scheme has been launched in West Yorkshire to tackle the problem of metal theft from properties in the region.

The scheme involves marking pipes and central heating components with coding only visible under ultra-violet light.

It was launched in Knottingley, near Pontefract last week, with funding provided by Wakefield and District Housing (WDH).

Metal theft is proving to be an increasing problem in many parts of the country, due to increased scrap value.

West Yorkshire police say they hoping to attract partners in similar schemes in other parts of the region.

The Yorkshire Evening Post reported last week that local councils have spent more than £2m on repairs and replacements in the last five years and churches in Yorkshire have been said to have made insurance claims totalling £6m.

The YEP has also reported that metal thieves sparked a huge explosion last year, which caused massive damage to six houses in Castleford.

Paul England, Wakefield assistant district manager at West Yorkshire Fire Service, told the YEP: “Metal theft is a serious problem for us as a fire and rescue service as it can cause a great deal of damage to property and even risk lives.

“You only have to look back at the huge explosion in Castleford last summer in which homes were destroyed following a gas leak which was caused by metal theft.”