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Scheme cracks down on metal thieves
8:00am Monday 15th October 2012 in News
A KIDDERMINSTER scrap dealers is backing a new scheme aimed at cracking down on metal thefts.
Kidderminster Metals, in Lisle Avenue, is taking seller’ thumbprints and registering their details in ab bid to reduce thefts.
Dealers who sign up to the West Mercia scheme will only accept items accompanied with photo ID and a utility bill, which will be logged along with the registration number of their vehicles, and details of metal sold.
Checks on North Worcestershire scrap yards took place last Thursday along with roadside checks on vans and lorries, as part of a national day of action tackling metal theft.
PC Phil Green of the Aggborough, Spennells and Rural East Safer Neighbourhood Team said the sheme would enable police to trace thieves if metal was later found to be stolen.
He added: "Dealers such as Kidderminster Metals have regular dealers that they know and trust, but the thumbprint and registration scheme will help us identify metal thieves who may be just trying their luck.
"Reputable companies like Kidderminster Metals can be of enormous help to us by helping prevent and detect offences, and we are building good working relationships with them.
"The scheme puts a stop to the practice of unscrupulous dealers buying metal on a no questions asked basis, and we hope that by taking away the market for stolen metal, the number of offences will fall."
The crackdown across West Mercia, codenamed Operation Tornado, was funded by British Transport Police.
As part of efforts to tighten up on the scrap industry nationally, changes to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act will outlaw all cash transactions at metal recycling yards across England and Wales and there will be a significant increase in fines for those dealers who fail to abide by the rules.