Police crack down on scrap metal dealing

WATCH OUT Police are cracking down on metal thefts. Insp Tim Holland is second from right.
WATCH OUT Police are cracking down on metal thefts. Insp Tim Holland is second from right.
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Police in Kirklees have been cracking down on metal thieves as part of a national operation.

Officers have been targeting scrap metal dealers to hunt out sellers – and buyers – of illegal, stolen metal, such as copper piping, railway cables and gas canisters.

The crackdown is part of Operation Tornado which is led by British Transport Police.

Insp Tim Holland, from Spen Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “For British Transport Police, the thefts tend to be signal and power cabling which disrupts the network.

“We have been carrying out operations in Kirklees, and educating scrap metal dealers about the new cashless system that came into force on December 3.”

Since the system was introduced, scrap metal dealers are no longer allowed to pay sellers in cash. It is hoped the new system will deter thieves from stealing metal, if they can only be paid by traceable methods.

Insp Holland said: “In Kirklees the operation is twofold – to visit and support the dealers and check they are complying with the cashless system and to give advice when needed, and we are also stopping cars in and around scrap metal dealers to deter criminals and try to get them to think twice.

“The other part of visiting the dealers is to get information from their records as to who is regularly dealing scrap metal, which will be followed up.”

Insp Holland said neighbourhood policing team and response team staff were working overtime on the operation, as well as road police staff.

He added: “We are checking dealers have licences and if not they are reported to the council.”