As the county celebrates Yorkshire day, people are being asked to report thefts of Yorkshire stone as a new campaign launches.
Today sees the ‘Once it’s gone, it’s gone’ campaign, which is asking people to report to Crimestoppers whenever they see the removal of stone or stone roofing tiles, even though it may look like perfectly legitimate activity, and help keep Yorkshire’s iconic landscape out the hands of thieves.
One of the supporters of the scheme is local artist Ashley Jackson and hopes to raise awareness of the problem.
“These aren’t just stone walls; these are sculptures of our heritage across the heart of Yorkshire. They are being stolen because of greed. Everybody’s got a telephone nowadays – use your telephone to protect Yorkshire,” he said.
Residents can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, if they prefer not to contact the police, by calling 0800 555 111 or completing an online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org Information coming through this telephone number could qualify for a reward.
Inspector Mark Trueman, Rural Neighbourhood Policing Team Commander, Kirklees, said “As with any crime, there is always a victim and stone theft is no exception. Sadly, not only will the owner of the stone be a victim, so will our great county of Yorkshire. Once the stone has gone from an area, it has gone forever; which leaves a change in our landscape.
“It’s only a few weeks ago that Yorkshire became the focal point for the worlds media when the Tour de France came visiting. The landscape was an awesome sight with the fantastic scenery showing Yorkshire in its full glory, complete with its Yorkshire stone.
“I would ask if you see anyone removing stone, whether it looks legitimate or not, please contact ourselves on 101 or Crimestoppers to leave the information anonymously.
“If enquiries find the work to be genuine, that is not a problem. This process allows us to gather information to establish who are genuine stone removers and who are not. By working together, we will make sure that our Yorkshire is not stolen.”