Police nailing down scrap metal thieves
A rising increase in metal thefts has prompted Bedfordshire Police to take a stand against criminals illegally trading in scrap – and the crackdown has already resulted in hefty punishments.
Operation Chinook took place in Leighton Buzzard on Wednesday, September 5, when Beds Police took to the streets along with enforcement officers from Central Bedfordshire Council’s environmental protection team, HMRC road fuel team and the environment agency to continue the battle against the trade in stolen scrap metal.
They were there to ensure that people trading in scrap had the appropriate licences and that no criminal offences were being committed in relation to the theft and handling of stolen metals.
During the two-day operation, which included visits to Ampthill, Flitwick, Maulden and Dunstable areas, two lorries were seized for using red diesel meaning owners will have to pay over £1,000 for restoration.
One driver found to have red diesel was also discovered not to hold a driving licence or insurance, he also had a dangerous load and was reported for using a mobile phone while driving, but other enforced punishments during the operation included penalties, fines and seized vehicles.
Sgt Giles Hutchinson who headed up Operation Chinook, said: “The two day operation gave us the opportunity to stop people who were transporting waste to ensure they were not transporting stolen goods around the county and to ensure they had the correct waste licences to transport the waste.
“A number of people that were stopped gave positive feedback as the people who don’t have the correct waste licences are affecting their trade and giving them a bad name. Operation Chinook is an extremely useful tool in the fight against metal theft and we will continue to use it around the county for the foreseeable future.”
Cllr Budge Wells, deputy member for Sustainable Communities Services, said: “Although this is a national problem we are determined to do all we can to stamp out this illicit trade in Central Bedfordshire. This operation was about sending a loud message to those who deal in stolen scrap metal that we are on your trail.”
Anyone who has information about this issue should can contact police on 101, or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.
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Weather for Leighton Buzzard
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 14 C to 24 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 12 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: East