GWENT Police and Caerphilly council teamed up last week to target metal theft and raise awareness of the new licensing legislation as part of an on-going operation.

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 means dealers, when applying for a licence from the local authority, will now have to prove they are a suitable person before they are issued with one.

The week of action saw scrap metal dealers visited and stopped throughout Risca, Blackwood and Caerphilly, as part of Operation Tornado, which sees Gwent Police working with Caerphilly council’s Trading Standards and Environmental Health teams as well as the British Transport Police.

Nine yards were visited and 11 collectors with loads were also stopped to check licenses, to examine their paper work as well as checking their loads for stolen property.

Of these 11, one car dismantler was reported for failing to notify the DVLA that cars are off the road as well as failing to keep records. Seven collectors were also reported for offences that included failing to keep records and operating without a license. They will all now appear in court.

Sergeant Roy Bell, who is leading the operation, said it “was a very successful operation”. He added: “We will continue these sort of operations throughout the year but I’d like to remind residents that they too have a responsibility to ensure that their metal or waste is always collected by a licensed collector.”