Preston residents have been left dismayed this week after a local church became the latest victim of a spate of scrap metal thefts in the area.
Ingol Methodist Church, on Preston’s Tag Lane, is the last in a long line of buildings in the area to fall prey to unscrupulous scrap metal thieves, and is now facing a hefty repair bill after lead was stripped from its roof and walls.
While police and other agencies have introduced initiatives in a bid to tackle scrap metal theft in the north of England, crime figures continue to increase, with large numbers of lead, aluminium and copper items being stolen. The increase is believed to correlate with the rising demand for scrap metal in the Far East, where raw materials are needed to enable the region’s rapid economic development.
The theft at Ingol Methodist Church was uncovered when parishioners noticed damp seeping into the building during the recent heavy rainfall. The church now faces a huge clean-up operation and hefty repair bill, all with no reassurance that they won’t be targeted again. In the meantime, parishioners have nowhere to meet and worship, and the church is anxiously awaiting an estimate.
Recycling Lives condemns the actions of the scrap metal thieves who have targeted community hubs and residential properties in and around Preston, as well as the corrupt metals recyclers and scrap yards that are willing to accept metal from undocumented sources – an action that flies in the face of scrap metal recycling best practice and new proposed legislation.
Recycling Lives has introduced tough new policies in its long-established recycling yards across Preston. Metals recycling is at the heart of the company’s operations, which is why integrity, care for the community and legitimate and secure transactions are top priorities.
Again, Recycling Lives would urge recycling companies and members of the community to work together to prevent scrap metal theft from eating away at the heart of Preston. Scrap metal traders should insist on proof of address from anyone wishing to sell scrap metal, and community members should use only legitimate and reputable scrap metal yards.
Anyone with information about the recent theft can call Preston Police anonymously on 101. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.