A SERGEANT who led an operation investigating metal thefts in the Daventry area has called for tougher sentences.
It comes as officers were out raiding scrap metal dealers and checking car registration plates on Thursday last week as part of a day of action.
Sergeant Mike Grady told the Daventry Express: “We are talking about charging these people for theft for which the punishment is actually very low and is not much of a deterrent.
“When we do get someone before the court, we appeal to magistrates to hand down the harshest sentences possible. We try to make magistrates aware of the wider consequences of their actions.”
The day of action was held in response to a number of incidents of metal thefts across the Daventry district and was met with considerable success.
One person was arrested on suspicion of metal theft while the manager of a scrap yard was issued with a caution for failing to keep proper records.
Sgt Grady added: “The day has been very useful, there are a lot of people worried about metal thefts in the area.
“It was welcomed by the traders who are acting correctly and above the law as well.”
There were 19 vehicles checked on a system which recognises car registration plates while one driver was found to be in possession of cannabis.
Lead from five church roofs across the Daventry district was taken in September worth more than £15,000.
Sgt Grady added: “We will still be investigating other metal thefts.
“We have got Operation Rogue Trader where we will do more vehicle checks. This is not the end, we will be continuing to look for metal thieves.”
Anybody who sees anything suspicious around churches, schools or other public buildings is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.