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Police Officers

Recycling Industry Lauds Efforts to Reduce Metals Theft

The recycling industry is working with law enforcement on metals theft via a Law Enforcement Advisory Council.

As a sign of both the need to reduce metal theft and its strong working relationship with the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and other recyclers, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) recently passed a resolution calling on law enforcement agencies to recognize recyclers as partners, use tools such as ScrapTheftAlert.com and utilize resources developed by ISRI.

“Working with law enforcement and other community partners is paramount to stopping metals theft,” said Brady Mills, director of law enforcement outreach for ISRI, in a statement. “Metals theft is not something police can prevent by themselves, and it is not something recyclers can do single-handedly either. It takes a solid working relationship and an understanding of each of our roles, resources and operations to be successful. Through consultation, education and cooperation, we have seen success. We will continue to build on our relationship with the IACP and every level of law enforcement to ensure continued success.”

The resolution acknowledged the efforts of the recycling industry “to work with law enforcement on metals theft by forming a Law Enforcement Advisory Council, conducting metals theft workshops and providing other educational materials …”

Upon passage in November 2018, the resolution states:

RESOLVED, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) calls upon all Law Enforcement agencies to recognize scrap metal recyclers as partners; take advantage of law enforcement specific tools and resources developed by ISRI; and disseminate metals theft prevention techniques through community crime prevention programs; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, the IACP encourages all Law Enforcement agencies to use the web-based scrap metal theft alert system which can be accessed at http://www.ScrapTheftAlert.com or other web-based sites that are globally available to alert recyclers of stolen scrap metals.

“Metals theft is a very serious crime that often goes beyond just property damage,” said Chief Paul M. Cell, president of the IACP, in a statement. “We have witnessed a precipitous increase in the number of metal thefts and in the enormity of the theft of metals. To effectively fight metals theft, cooperation and communication is needed among all stakeholders in the community. Where we have seen the most success is where recyclers and law enforcement work together. That is why the IACP adopted the Reducing Metal Theft resolution in 2018 to bring awareness to the issue, promote partnership between recyclers and law enforcement and to encourage police to use the web-based scrap metal theft alert system by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. and other web-based sites that are globally available to alert recyclers of stolen scrap metals.”

ScrapTheftAlert.com is an online tracking system created by the scrap industry to report stolen materials throughout the U.S. and Canada. The system allows law enforcement, corporate security personnel and victims of metals theft, to post alerts that are emailed to users within a 100-mile radius of the theft location. The more than 19,600 alerts posted through the portal have resulted in a number of success stories including the identification of suspects and the recovery of more than $2.8 million in stolen material.

The full resolution can be found on page 8 of the resolutions passed in November 2018.

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