Change law on turning copper into cash: PSNI

A PSNI chief has called on the Stormont Executive to change the law to make it harder for thieves to turn “copper into cash”.

Area Commander Nicky Thompson made the remarks at last week’s meeting of the Coleraine District Policing Partnership held in Portrush Town Hall.

He was commenting on the increase in lead and copper thefts in the area and added that it is just too easy for criminals to exchange stolen goods for cash.

“We need the legislation changed to reduce this mind of activity,” he said.

“There is nothing to stop crinimals stealing copper or lead, passing it across the counter and walking out with cash.

“For example, they should be asked for identification and be paid by cheque into an account as opposed to cash. We need the MLAs to use their influence.”

Chief Inspector Thompson also asked people living in rural areas to be vigilant as metal is being stolen out of street lights.

He said that the criminals were getting more adept at avoiding detection as they could see a police car coming in the distance and would hide until the patrol passed by.

He said that police would be using other tactics to apprehend the thieves and appealed for information from the public.