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Police in Nelson turn up heat on boiler thieves
AROUND 600 properties in the Southfield area of Nelson are to be marked with a crime prevention system to reduce thefts of copper boilers.
The move comes after the area was identified by police as a long-term hotspot for such incidents, with around 60 to 70 thefts of boilers in Southfield in the past two years.
Jointly funded by the police and Pendle Council, the scheme will see uniformed police and PCSOs attend properties to mark boilers and some other property with SelectaDNA.
Insp Phil Davies said: “There is a high proportion of rented properties in the area, and if one is empty for a short period of time it soon gets burgled and the copper gets stolen.
“This kind of crime damages the area. If the boiler is taken it becomes expensive to fix, it stays empty for a longer period of time and it becomes a target for anti-social behaviour.
“It is estimated that each boiler thefts costs landlords about £4,500, with repairs, damage to the property and things like that, so we want to stop that from happening.”
Signs are also being erected on the main roads in to the Southfield area which tell people that the area is marked with forensic identifications.
Insp Davies said: “This is a long-term hotspot and trend which is why we are taking action and looking at long-term solutions.
“I would say we have seen two to three such thefts per month over the past two years.
“It also gives us a chance to get round the ward and to speak to residents at the same time, giving out crime prevention advice and discussing any issues they have, which is the role of the neighbourhood policing team.”
The scheme started last month and is expected to continue while officers mark property at 600 houses, which is the majority of the Southfield ward.