POLICE are investigating the theft of scaffolding poles worth nearly £1,500 from a Romsey building site.

A gang stole 20 aluminium poles from a scaffolding tower at Abbotswood earlier this month and officers from Operation Tornado - set up to track down scrap metal thieves and enforce new laws imposed on dealers handling precious metals - are now hunting those responsible.

Romsey-based Inspector Jackie Willson who heads up Operation Tornado in Hampshire, said: “The aluminium components slot into each other and build into a tower for working at different height levels.

"The components would have been marked with 'Speedyhire; sticky labels because the metals was not embossed with the hire company's name and the replacement cost is approximately £1,400."

The scaffolding equipment was removed from Taylor Wimpey's development site off Braishfield Road during the May Bank holiday weekend.