OFFICERS from Staffordshire Police have joined a nationwide crackdown on metal theft and waste crime.
A variety of co-ordinated activity took place during five days for the initiative, led by the British Transport Police.
To coincide with metal and waste crime week, from Monday, October 12 – Friday, October 15, officers worked with various partners including local councils and environment agencies, to focus on crime prevention, education and enforcement.
During visits to 30 scrap metal sites across Staffordshire officers searched for stolen metal and examined trader’s financial records to ensure they were complying with the Scrap Metal Dealers Act. In total 12 individuals were reported for breaches and 22 offences were identified.
The introduction of the legislation in 2013, which brought in strict licensing requirements on dealers and identity checks for people selling scrap metal, has contributed to a significant decrease in metal theft.
A scrap metal site in Stoke-on-Trent was closed after it was found to be unlicensed and the owner was reported.
With support from the Roads Policing Unit, officers carried out spot checks at locations where catalytic converter thefts had taken place previously.
A number of vehicles carrying waste and scrap metal were also stopped and enquiries were conducted to ensure compliance and to gather intelligence.
Sergeant Justin Rai said, “Metal theft continues to be a focus nationally and, together with our partner agencies, we are committed to tackling this type of crime in Staffordshire.
“We are pleased with the activity during the week of action and continue to share intelligence and coordinate activity to detect and disrupt offenders. Due to the high value of metal, it is often linked to organised crime groups.
“Metal and waste crime can also have a significant impact on those that are targeted. It is important that the public remain vigilant, consider appropriate security measures and continue to report incidents of this nature.”
Anyone who spots suspicious activity is encouraged to report it to the police by calling 101, or 999 if a crime is in progress.