A “notable rise” in arrests in relation to textile theft has occurred since the waste textile industry met with Civil Society Minister Nick Hurd in January.
At the annual general meeting of the Textile Recyclers Association (TRA), Det. Ch. Supt. Steve Head, head of economic crimes at the City of London Police, revealed that following the meeting his unit contacted police across the UK to bring textile theft to their attention. As a direct result this has led to a number of arrests. The specific number is not yet known
Det. Ch. Supt Head has been working with the TRA and other textile recycling stakeholders to try and tackle the problem of textile theft that affects around 90% of all TRA members. Due to the high price of textiles, thieves are targeting collection banks and door to door collections, taking profits from the textile industry.
TRA national liaison manager Alan Wheeler said: “Some of my members are now telling me that the police have made arrests when they have reported textile theft at their banks, which hasn’t happened too often in the past. We welcome the news of more arrests and we hope that once we have gathered more intelligence on the thefts that are taking place, which seem to be organised crime, we can tackle those in charge of the of the gangs.”
Currently, a tonne of material from a textile bank is worth £330, according to MRW/WRAP prices.