Gwent metal theft crackdown sees 21,000 vehicles stopped
4:30pm Thursday 16th August 2012 in News
MORE than 21,000 vehicles have been stopped by Gwent police since April last year as part of a drive against metal thefts which is now being adopted by other forces.
Working practices developed by the force, which have also seen 862 people arrested in connection with metal theft offences and 761 people reported for summons, are now being held up as "best practice" in an all-Wales operation to further reduce the problem.
Since launching the drive against metal thefts, Gwent police have worked with other agencies and partners including VOSA, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), British Transport Police and the Environment Agency.
A total of 21,942 vehicle have been stopped and around 70 van-loads of scrap metal seized.
A total of 8,628 people have been stopped/searched, 1,471 vehicles seized, 2,604 fixed penalty notices issued, 283 people referred to the DWP, two scrap yards closed down and 61 stolen vehicles recovered.
Last month two men appeared before magistrates and were convicted for failing to be registered, or failing to keep records, under the Scrap Metal Act 1964 - the first successful convictions for these offences in the UK.
One man was fined £400 for failing to be registered and the other man £100 for failing to keep records.
Chief Inspector Glyn Fernquest is leading the operation in Gwent.
He said: "The Force is making real progress in tackling this criminality and the fact that other forces are now adopting methods we have used to tackle metal thieves is testament to the skill and determination of our officers and our partner agencies."
Anyone with any information on metal thefts is asked to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.