Police crackdown on metal theft

Chief Superintendent Bill Hotchkiss, South Yorkshire force lead for metal theft.
Chief Superintendent Bill Hotchkiss, South Yorkshire force lead for metal theft.

SCRAPYARDS in Doncaster were visited as part of a major crackdown on metal theft across South Yorkshire.

Operations took place on four days in conjunction with the National Metal Theft Taskforce and Operation Tornado - launched in April.

Between Monday, May 14 and 17, officers were out tackling people suspected of transporting and trading scrap metal, as well as gathering intelligence and giving crime prevention advice.

Officers arrested 11 people for metal theft and seven people for other offences such as drugs and failing to appear at court. Two lengths of stolen cable were seized and two catalytic converters, in addition to quantities of red diesel, drugs and drug cultivation equipment being recovered.

Operation Tornado was established to better regulate the scrap metal industry and restrict the movement of stolen metal by identifying unscrupulous dealers who operate outside the law.

Anyone disposing of metals to participating scrap metal dealers must provide proof of their identity with a driving licence, passport, or national identity card, which must be supported with a utility bill showing their current address.

Chief superintendent Bill Hotchkiss, force lead for metal theft, said: “This is the third high-profile metal theft operation South Yorkshire Police have executed this year.

“Scrap yards in the county and those moving and dealing with stolen metal have been targeted by police, several times recently so they know we are watching them and this is part of a long-term plan to deter unlawful actions and better regulate the industry.

“These operations involve local communities, businesses and partners as well as assistance from legitimate scrap metal dealers. The whole community can be affected by the consequences of metal theft, so it is important that we all pull together to tackle it.

“If you have any information on metal theft crimes or suspicious activity in your area please report it to police by calling 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”