Metal thieves targeted

A scheme which aims to tackle scrap metal thieves has been launched across Yorkshire.

Scrap metal dealers who have signed up to the scheme will now ask those who are disposing of scrap to produce proof of their identity.

The move is part of Operation Tornado, which was launched across Yorkshire and Humber, to better regulate the scrap metal industry and restrict the movement of stolen metal.

It is designed no to inhibit dealers operating legitimate businesses but to identify unscrupulous dealers who operate outside the law.

It is being implemented by Association of Chief Police Officers, the Home Office, the British Transport Police and the four police forces of Yorkshire and the Humber in collaboration with other regional partners in government and industry.

Chief Supt Bill Hotchkiss of South Yorkshire Police, regional strategic metal theft coordinator for Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “The four forces have put in a lot of work over a number of weeks, visiting all registered scrap metal dealers in the region to gain their compliance with the Operation Tornado guidelines.”

“A high proportion of scrap metal dealers have already signed up to the scheme.”

“The new standards should be a breath of fresh air for the scrap metal industry, which is governed by some archaic laws and a no-questions-asked approach.”

“We will continue to focus on the few who remain reluctant, encouraging them to sign up in the next few weeks and are hopeful that the scheme will have a significant impact on the ability of local criminals to convert their stolen metal to cash as we will have removed their avenues to sell metal on.”

The operation has been trialled in the North East.