Hundreds of vehicles were stopped in a nationwide operation to tackle metal theft yesterday (Tuesday May 21, 2013). As part of the National Day of Action to tackle Metal Theft, Leicestershire Police focused its efforts in the area of Melton in a bid to disrupt cross-border criminality and reduce metal theft from rural areas and commercial properties such as farms.
Leicestershire Police collaborated with police Forces in neighbouring counties to challenge those who travel to commit crime across county borders. The main arterial routes into the Melton were covered by Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) in a ‘ring of steel’. The ANPR cameras, which work by scanning vehicle registrations and checking them against police databases, were successful in identifying vehicles linked to criminality carrying individuals known to police.
At a checkpoint in Newark, Nottinghamshire Police made three arrests in connection with metal thefts offences. Melton LPU Commander John Gray, commented: “Half of all crime committed, is not committed by local people. We have formed an excellent working partnership with Nottinghamshire Police’s Rushcliffe Beat to address issues of cross-border criminality.”
“Working with neighbouring Forces in this way highlights how we arable to challenge criminals who move from one area to the next causing harm to our local communities. Our work to deny criminals the use of the roads is part of our on-going commitment to tackling rural crime.”
Vehicles were intercepted and taken to a lay-by to be dealt with by officials from a number of multiagency partners including VOSA, Department of Work and Pensions, the Environment Agency, and Rushcliffe Borough Council Environmental Health.
Nineteen vehicles were stopped in collaboration with Nottinghamshire Police at a location on the county border:
• Seven immediate prohibitions we enacted, with vehicles prohibited from leaving until defects were rectified, one vehicle was towed from the site; • Five Waste Carrier Registration packs were issued by District Council to register their business interest in waste collection, with further action to follows from the Council if no registration is made; • Five people were identified by the Department of Work and Pensions as claiming benefits whilst collecting scrap; • One fixed penalty notice was issued for an insecure load and one £200 fine issued for overloaded vehicle; and • Two visits were made to scrap metal dealers on the A46; they passed all requirements regarding current record keeping legislation.
An additional 24 vehicles were stop checked by Leicestershire Police’s patrol officers:
• Police disrupted the activity of individuals travelling into Leicestershire who were known to police in Lincolnshire, their vehicle was searched and intelligence was gained; • One scrap metal van was checked and reported for having no licence or insurance, and Traffic Offence reports were issued for illegal tyre and mobile phone offences; and • One man, driving without full payment of his insurance, opted to pay in full; he was not entitled to drive until the full payment had been made.
Melton LPU Commander John Gray concluded: “Leicestershire Police takes metal theft seriously. We’d encourage the public to report any suspicious metal collecting activity to us, so that we may intervene.”
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