Crackdown on metal theft

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Across the county officers were stopping vehicles carrying metal and checking that they had a mobile collectors licence, they visited scrap metal dealers to check they had a site licence, offer them advice and ensure awareness and compliance with the new rules.

In South Yorkshire 63 vehicles were stopped with three people being reported for breaches of the new legislation and one vehicle found with red diesel. One person was arrested on suspicion of the theft of power tools.

Throughout the operation police officers worked in partnership with local authorities across South Yorkshire, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Environment Agency, SmartWater and industry partners from BT, Northern Power and Network Rail.

The national day of action (Tuesday, 3 December), coordinated by the National Metal Theft Task Force, was the latest to take place following the introduction of the 2013 Scrap Metal Dealers’ Act.

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 brought in strict new measures requiring traders to ask for photographic ID, and to sign up for a new licence with their local authority. It also includes mobile collectors and the motor salvage industry, and this week’s activity marks the conclusion of the two-month registration period.

Chief Inspector Andy Kent, Force lead for metal theft said: “Through partnership working the metal theft day of action in South Yorkshire and county wide operation has been successful in helping to reduce this type of crime and it has achieved its aim to raise awareness of the new legislation.

“Metal theft is not a victimless crime, it can affect the whole community. That is why it is so important for police and partner organisations to work together with local communities, businesses and legitimate scrap dealers to tackle this type of crime. ”

Anyone with information regarding metal theft or suspicious activity in your area please contact South Yorkshire Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.