The Association of Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) and Crimestoppers are to launch a national campaign to tackle metal theft.
Scottish Cabinet Secretary Kenny MacAskill has launched the Cut Out Metal Theft scheme with agencies such as British Transport Police (BTP) and representatives from BT, Scottish Power and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) during road side checks of suspect in Edinburgh.
He said: “The Scottish Government is taking tough steps to scrap metal theft with the status quo being untenable. The responses confirm that there is an overwhelming case to ensure proper regulation, licensing and the highest standards in the industry.
“A rise in the exemption warrant threshold will regulate hundreds of dealers and we will ensure all dealers are licensed, working with the industry to create a robust, workable scheme to do this.
“With tough legislation and enforcement we can make a difference, and we will continue to work with police, industries affected by metal theft and the majority of reputable metal dealers to stop metal theft.”
BTP area commander and ACPOS chair, chief superintendent Ellie Bird added: “The public should be assured that the police and our partner agencies are working closely to clamp down on these thieves and the unscrupulous metal dealers who continue to trade in stolen metal.”
Crimestoppers national manager for Scotland Kate Jackson concluded: “Crimestoppers wants to encourage the public to fight back against metal thieves who create severe disruption to communities and the UK economy.”