Extent of metal thefts laid bare

Police have announced a crackdown after it was revealed that nearly £60,000 of metal was stolen from public buildings in just four years.

Freedom of Information figures obtained by the Advertiser show that £58,583 worth of copper and lead were taken from mainly school roofs between January 1, 2011 and December 19 last year.

Worst hit was Roslin Primary School on October 10, 2013, when lead valued at £9,954 was taken from an annexe. A council spokesman said: “The majority of metal theft has occurred on roofs.

“Where metal theft occurs from a property, the council does not reinstate with metal but instead uses alternative materials with little value.

“In addition, and depending on the property’s circumstances, routes of access such as rain water pipes are protected with anti-climb paint and or physical barriers.

“All thefts of this type are reported to the police and advice taken on any remedial actions required.”

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “The theft of metal from public buildings can have a serious impact on services provided to the community, and can cause untold damage to the structure of the building.

“Police officers throughout Midlothian are cracking down on this type of theft. Members of the public should report any suspicious activity to police on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, to allow us to bring to justice the people responsible.”