Crackdown by cops on metal theft

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South Yorkshire Police continued their clampdown on metal theft by taking part in a national day of action last week.

Operation Tornado saw nearly 60 officers visiting scrap yards and stopping vehicles believed to be involved in the collection and distribution of scrap metal.

In the Rotherham area, 43 vehicles were stopped – three told about tyre treads and two for faulty brake plates/registration plate issues and four scrap dealers were visited. Officers arrested one person for possession of class B drugs, two for breaching court orders and seven people for not paying fines. Across the county 115 drivers were stopped, 11 people were arrested, 10 scrap dealers visited and three vehicles seized.

Chief Inspector Andy Kent who coordinated the day said: “Working with scrap metal dealers and tackling metal theft is very much daily business for us now, however it’s good to dedicate resources to the issue on specific dates.”

“The scrap metal industry is now better regulated with Operation Tornado and the new legislation and we work closely with partners across the industry.”

The Association of Chief Police Officers estimates metal theft costs the UK economy £770 million a year, with 7,000 offences reported every month. UK insurers pay out about £1 million a week to victims, for issues including the loss of communication services and power, disruption of railway networks, and the desecration of memorials.

The Business Crime Reduction Centre, which helps firms protect against crime, says South Yorkshire is ‘one of the worst affected areas in the UK’ for metal theft. Report any suspicious activity on 101 or by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.