Hampshire Constabulary has completed phase one of a regional project to clamp down on metal thefts across the two counties.
Inspector Jackie Willson who was leading Op Tornado in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, said: “We have been working closely with the scrap yards and other agencies across the two counties to tighten up on regulations and to ensure that identification is produced when cash transactions take place.
“Metal theft is on the increase and these measures have already helped in the fight against crime by identifying those who have tried to peddle stolen metal.”
Operation Tornado aims to make it easier to trace sellers of stolen metal and remove those dealers who operate illegal businesses.
Under the new scheme, individuals will be required to provide proof of their identity including their current address when trying to sell scrap metal to dealers.
The operation was piloted by British Transport Police and several other forces in the North East region of the country earlier this year.
Now Hampshire Constabulary, under the auspices of regional lead Thames Valley Police, is supporting the South region roll-out.
Following an operation in the constabulary’s Eastern Area this week, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight is fully signed up to the scheme. As with the operations carried out in the Northern and Western parts of Hampshire, stolen metal was located at several sites during the operation on Tuesday (June26) and investigations have been launched. So far one man has been arrested – a 36-year-old from Gosport – and is on bail until August 8.
The Western Area was the first across the two counties to pilot the scheme in April followed by the Northern Area a month later.
In the lead-up the operation launch, Safer Neighbourhood teams were visiting with scrap metal dealers ahead as part of regular metal theft investigations, intelligence gathering and to inform them of the initiative and encourage them to sign-up.
Letters from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) were sent to all scrap metal dealers.
Insp Willson said: “I am very pleased with the response we have had from the scrap metal dealers who have all supported Operation Tornado and we have forged much better links with this industry during this initiative. We will now continue to build on this success.”
This article has been read 641 times!