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Crack down on metal theft

Police carried out checks at scrap yards in Laindon as part of a national day of action against metal theft.

Essex Police
Above: Police visit scrap yard

Accompanied by officers from British Transport Police and BT, police visited three scrap yards on Friday, October 28, 2011 to make sure their books were in order and to deter criminals from trying to sell on stolen metal.

The day of action forms part of Operation Bodmin, a long term crack down on metal theft carried out by Laindon neighbourhood policing team.

Sgt Paul Costin from the team said: "Metal theft is a growing national crime problem, and we have suffered recently across Basildon at the hands of these thieves. By ensuring that scrap yards have their books in order and they work with police, we can make sure that thieves do not have anywhere to sell on their goods.

"We have a very good relationship with the scrap metal dealers in this area and I thank them for their assistance in helping us make inroads into this crime problem.”

As part of the operation, scrap metal dealers are given photographs of people who have been convicted of metal theft so they can contact police if they try to sell them metal.

In the week running up to the day of action, a total of ten people in the area were given warning letters after police checks revealed they had given incorrect information to scrap yards they sold metal to.

It is an offence to furnish a false name or address in contravention of the Section 5 (2) of scrap metal dealers act 1964 and the ten people have been advised that if they commit this offence again they could face prosecution.

Insp Nick Brook from British Transport Police accompanied the Laindon officers on the day of action. He said: "We have been working with Essex Police to crack down on metal theft. We want to ensure that the scrap metal environment is a highly policed one and this day of action has hopefully sent out a strong message that we will deal with such offences robustly.”

Chief Superintendent Paul Brogden of British Transport Police added: "Thankfully, the number of metal recyclers willing to take in dodgy metal is small – with the vast majority of businesses in the industry happy to work with police to put an end to the trade in stolen metal.

"Those who continue to buy and sell stolen metal are on our radar and they can look forward to many future visits from British Transport Police and our colleagues in other police forces.

"Metal theft in any form is an attack on communities, but when thieves target the railway they often have a significant impact on travellers in the shape of delays and cancellations caused by severed power or communications cable.”


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