THEFTS of metal have increased sharply in the Elland area.
Police say the number of reported thefts increased from 13 to 56 between May 30 and July 10 compared to the six-week period before.
Pc Jenna Atkinson said it was an unfortunate rise but they were working to cut the figure.
The Elland-based officer said: "It is unfortunate this time we’ve had a spike in the number of thefts – the majority of the 56 have been thefts of lead or other metals in Elland.
"On one occasion lead was stolen from the bay windows of all the houses on one street – except two – and they were houses that had CCTV cameras."
She told residents at the Elland Ward Forum: "If you see people looking like they’re doing work on a neighbour’s house check with your neighbours that they should be there.
"It is something we are very conscious about and we are looking at."
She outlined a police operation along Huddersfield Road last week aimed at tackling scrap metal thieves and said further operations were planned.
Of the 56 incidents of theft, five were handbags and phones that were taken after being left by the owner in a pub or shop and nine were thieves shoplifting from supermarkets.
Pc Atkinson said one man was arrested for two of the shoplifting offences and another man arrested for three of them.
The number of thefts from a vehicle increased to eight, up from five in the previous period. During one of the incidents the thief smashed a window and made off with items left on the seat.
Pc Atkinson said: "We could stop these incidents if people put their bags and coats in the boot or better still take them into your house, let’s not give them an opportunity to steal."
Just one car was stolen in the six week period – compared to eight last time – and that car was found burned out on Springfield Road. Pc Atkinson said CID officers were investigating the incident.
The number of burglaries dropped from six to four and Pc Atkinson said the thieves had targeted flats.
The number of shed and garage burglaries had risen from six to 14. Copper and other Metals from garden tools to copper pipes and a boiler from a newly renovated but empty property were stolen.
Reports of anti-social behaviour had dropped by one to 13, and Pc Atkinson said several of those were reports of someone shouting to be let in.
"There was a problem in the Whitwell area where youths were causing anti-social behaviour and officers found them and took them to the caller to apologise," she said.
"There is also a woman going through the anti-social behaviour process and we are visiting her regularly."
Pc Atkinson said a cannabis farm was found on Elizabeth Street last week and one man was arrested.