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Got metal to sell? ID must now be shown
FIVE police forces including Gloucestershire have teamed up to crack down on metal thieves.
Spearheaded by the Association of Chief Police Officers, Operation Tornado will make it easier to trace sellers of stolen metal through an identification scheme and more difficult to sell it on.
There have been 33 thefts on the Cotswold Line in the last year, including cabling stolen from a crossing in Blockley in November and a drum of cable taken from the same area in the following month.
Last month, 11 Romanian men appeared at Birmingham Crown Court charged with offences relating to theft of railway cables on the Cotswold Line. They were remanded in custody and are due back in the same court on Friday, August 31.
Gloucestershire police will collaborate with the forces of Avon and Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall and Wiltshire in the crackdown.
Chief Inspector Andy Wasley, of Gloucestershire Police, said: "Metal thefts can have a significant impact on communities by causing disruption to everyday life and heavy cost to the local and national economy.
“This has been seen in Gloucestershire with significant delays to rail services and power outages as a result of thefts in the county.
“We are pleased to be a part of Operation Tornado to further enhance the actions we already take to not only bring offenders to justice but also to help prevent offences from occurring in the first instance.”
Scrap metal yards across the region have been asked to sign up to the scheme over the last six weeks. Now when anyone goes to a yard to sell metal they will be asked for evidence of identity.
Anyone with information about illegal activities can either call the local policing team on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.