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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

Police raid businesses in metal thefts crackdown

COPS raided three businesses during a crackdown on scrap metal thefts.

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OPERATION: Police and officers from the Environment Agency swoop on Waste Recycling Group, Barrow, as part of a county-wide crackdown. No evidence of processing stolen scrap metal was found at any of the three Barrow premises raided MILTON HAWORTH REF: 50020246B005

An operation was launched after 20 such incidents across South Cumbria in the last 30 days.

The raids were carried out in conjunction with others across the county and in Lancashire and North Yorkshire yesterday.

Phase one of the operation started at 7am with stop and search checks on vehicles in Park Road, Barrow.

Over a two-hour period, 36 vans, lorries and cars were stopped by officers in an operation that was part of National Scrap Metal Day.

One driver received an on-the-spot fine for chatting on his mobile phone while a passenger in another car was given a fixed penalty notice for not wearing a seatbelt.

At 11am, Sergeant John McIntosh briefed 17 uniformed and CID officers and two Environment Agency representatives about part two of the planned operation – targeting Cooper’s Yard, in Park Road, Waste Recycling Group (WRG) in Walney Road and K and M Recycling Ltd in Schneider Road, all Barrow.

Sgt McIntosh explained why the operation was launched and said: “There have been 20 thefts of metal, mainly lead and copper, over the last 30 days in South Cumbria.

“We visited three sites in Barrow and as a result we went through their records and found no evidence that any of these sites were involved in processing stolen scrap metal. This is a good result as it shows local firms are doing things correctly.

“If anyone has any information about such thefts, then we would urge them to get in touch.”

Sergeant Mark Rawlinson was in charge of the early morning operation in Park Road as part of the long-running Operation Statue.

He said: “We stopped as many commercial vehicles as we could over a two-hour period.

“This allowed the Environment Agency to check first if any vehicle was carrying or had been carrying waste. They then checked if the vehicle was registered and if not, they offered advice and sent out application packs.

“From a policing point of view, we checked the vehicle for defects and that the drivers and vehicles had the correct documentation.

In the light of the recent scrap metal thefts, it also gives us an opportunity to check who is out and about and offer crime prevention advice.”

He added that a number of vehicles were given warnings and advice concerning minor traffic offences. If you have any information on metal thefts, contact Barrow police on 0845 3300 247.

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