Week of action to tackle catalytic converter theft
Officers joined forces with British Transport Police this month as part of targeted action to tackle catalytic converter theft in South Yorkshire.
Forces from right across the UK took part in Operation Goldiron which saw officers carry out enforcement action, site checks and crime prevention activity, to deter criminality and gather intelligence.The rising prices of metal has contributed to an increase in this type of crime, which is often coordinated by organised crime groups.Detective Inspector Lee Townley, Force Lead for Metal Theft, said: “Not many people are aware of catalytic converter theft until it happens to their vehicle and they’re left paying the price.“Your catalytic converter is a device on your exhaust which helps purify fumes, they contain precious metals which is why they are tempting to thieves.
“All vehicles are vulnerable to this type of theft, but criminals have recently been seen to be targeting hybrids.”Last week officers in Barnsley, Doncaster, Sheffield and Rotherham paid visits to local scrapyards to check owners were aware of their responsibilities when disposing of converters.Our neighbourhood teams also spoke to victims, providing forensic marking services and crime prevention advice.Officers were joined by the DVLA and the Environment Agency.DI Townley added: “We know the impact that metal crime can have on individuals and businesses and we are continuing with disruption work across South Yorkshire.“Awareness raising is also really important, it is vital that the public take steps to protect their vehicles and report anything suspicious to us.”
Top tips to protect your vehicle:If possible, park in a garage or in a position where it would be difficult to access the underside of the vehicle near the exhaust
Consider marking the catalytic converter with a serial number to identify it, and register it on sites such as Immobilise
Consider installing protective coverings over the converter which can slow down thieves – seek advice from your manufacturer or a mechanic
Install alarms and CCTV
Good quality lighting near to your vehicle will improve natural surveillance and can act as a deterrent.If you see anyone acting suspicious/appearing to be working on a car in a public car park, please report it.