THE number of metal thefts recorded annually by Gwent Police fell by more than 80 per cent between 2013 and 2018, according to the Office of National Statistics.

In 2013, the force recorded 1,357 metal thefts. By 2018, the number had dropped to 181.

Metal thefts are generally categorised in two ways.

Infrastructure-related thefts include metals used in industries like construction (such as roof lead or thefts from building sites) or transport.

Non-infrastructure-related thefts can include non-construction metal such as fencing or disused metal items.

Using Home Office figures, the ONS found that while metal theft in Gwent had generally decreased, the proportion of non-infrastructure related thefts had increased substantially.

In 2013, slightly less than half (49 per cent) of all metal thefts recorded by Gwent Police were not connected to infrastructure. But by 2018 this type of metal theft had increased to nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of all recorded metal thefts in the region.