Metal seized from vehicles in metal theft crackdown at Sharpness Docks

Stroud News and Journal: Police check a vehicle in their scrap metal operation at Sharpness on Monday (3281656) Police check a vehicle in their scrap metal operation at Sharpness on Monday (3281656)

POLICE have seized scrap metal from four vehicles during a day of action to clampdown on the theft of the material in the county last week.

Officers were based at Sharpness Docks throughout the day on Monday, January 6 to check for anyone transporting metal without the appropriate licence, insurance or details of who they had bought the scrap from.

Automatic number plate recognition technology was used to help identify and stop those who could be breaching the law or involved in offences while licensing officers from Stroud District Council joined police to check vehicles and issue penalties where necessary.

Following on from the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, which places more stringent measures upon those who purchase, sell or in any way transport scrap metals, police can now seize metal if those transporting it are flouting the law.

Goods from four vehicles were seized because those transporting the metal did not possess the relevant documentation.

The funds from the sale of that metal will now go back to Gloucestershire Police.

Superintendent Phil Haynes said: "This was our part of a wider day of action against metal theft in the region but we and our partners have been right at the forefront of setting good practice in the last couple of years.

"We've clamped down on dealers ignoring the law, made regular checks on scrapyards and recovered thousands of pounds of stolen metal, making arrests and issuing fines where necessary.

"The situation has improved because of this but we are determined to continue the progress and make sure metal thieves know there is no place for them in this county.

"Schools, churches, shops and ordinary members of the public have all been the targets of this type of crime in the past and many have been severely inconvenienced and left out of pocket as a result. We will not tolerate such behaviour."

Amongst the other results, three vehicles were found to have no insurance, one tested positive for red diesel, which is illegal and one motorist was found to be using a mobile phone while driving.

Meanwhile, officers are also urging residents to be wary of leaving metal on their driveways after the theft of scrap from homes in Bishop's Cleeve and Shurdington last week.

The operation was also carried out on the A48 in the Forest of Dean.

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