POLICE across Western Cheshire are leading a crackdown on lead theft.

In recent weeks there has been a significant rise in the number of lead thefts reported to police in the Western area, and officers are now exploring different ways to detect and deter thieves who cannot resist the temptation to make quick cash by stealing lead from public buildings and business premises.

Chief Inspector Damien Smethurst is heading up the local initiative to help combat metal theft, and explained that police are persuing different ways to identify and bring to justice those who cost local businesses large amounts of money and inconvenience to replace stolen materials.

He said: “Due to the lead generally being on the exterior or roof of a building, we accept that it is extremely difficult to keep it secure.

“But there are steps that can be taken to protect your property, such as installing security lighting and/or CCTV, applying anti vandal paint, and planting bushes and hedges with thorns which make it more difficult for thieves to gain access to flat roofs.”

If you have any information in relation to lead thefts contact Cheshire Police on 0845 458 0000 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.