Police visit Fenland scrap dealers during metal theft crackdown

POLICE visited scrap dealers in Fenland today as part of a crackdown on metal theft.

The national day of action saw officers carrying out stop checks across Cambridgeshire as part of Operation Magnet.

As well as visiting scrap metal dealers in the Fens, police also stopped vehicles on the A1 at Sawtry and on Storey’s Bar Road, in Peterborough.

Officers were joined by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), the Environment Agency and HMRC for the checks.

It is hoped new legislation, due to come into force soon, will also aid the fight against metal thieves.

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Changes to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (LASPO) Act will outlaw all cash transactions at metal recycling yards and there will be a significant increase in fines for dealers who flout the law.

Detective Inspector Sharon Dence said: “Today’s operation demonstrates our commitment to stopping this type of crime and catching those responsible.

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“We hope the change in the law will also disrupt the stolen metal market by giving us a clear audit trail to those bringing commodities into recycling yards.”

DI Dence also urged members of the public to be vigilant.

“I would urge anyone who sees anything suspicious or out of the ordinary, particularly at night in isolated locations and around manhole covers or telegraph poles, to contact police.”

Anyone with information about metal theft should call police on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111. If a crime is in progress, call 999.

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