PCC John Campion, Chief Constable Pippa Mills and Wyre Forest MP Mark Garnier joined West Mercia Police as part of a multi-agency operation tackling metal theft and other offences.
Metal theft costs the UK approximately £360 million per year and is often tied to other serious organised crime. With an increase in export and demand, scrap metal is becoming more valuable to criminals. Metal theft can takes in different areas of crime, such as:
- Catalytic Converter Crime
- Metal Crime
- Heritage Crime
- National Infrastructure Crime
- Plant and Agricultural Crime
Operation Goldjuno is a nationwide effort to raise awareness of metal theft and focus on crime prevention, education and enforcement.
The operation on 15 February saw West Mercia Police working in a collaborative and proactive approach with partners from the Environment Agency, DVSA, HMRC and Worcestershire Regulatory Services to ensure compliance under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act and Waste carrier legislation, as well as to tackle cash based money laundering in the waste industry.
Throughout the day, police stopped and checked 20 vehicles, 18 of them at a DVSA site in Kidderminster with the following results:
- 9 x individuals being pursued by WFDC to produce waste carrier licences
- 3 x individuals reported for having no waste carrier licences
- 1 x immediate vehicle prohibition order issued
- 5 x delayed vehicle prohibition orders issued
- 1 x driver reported for no tax or MOT
- 1 x driver reported for no insurance
- 1 x driver reported for having a bald tyre
- 1 x driver reported for using red diesel
- 1 x seizure of cannabis from a vehicle.
PCC John Campion said: “As Commissioner I am committed to ensuring West Mercia Police have the resources to tackle criminality, which often unseen but can have a huge impact. Metal theft is a one example of this, with the potential for significant damage to our infrastructure and the communities we live in.
This was an outstanding example of the force making best use of these resources and working in partnership to detect a range of different offences
I am pleased to see how West Mercia Police is working to improve the understanding of metal theft, and enforcing the law, with the support of other agencies.”
Inspector Dave King from Kidderminster SNT said: “As this coordinated operation with our agency partners has shown, we are committed to tackling all forms of metal crime which can cause significant damage to our communities.
As a force we will continue to work closely with partners to clamp down on metal theft. This ongoing work includes liaising with scrap metal dealers, regularly conducting spot checks and visits to ensure yards are complying with legislation and organising local operations to disrupt and deter criminals.
“We also need members of the public to help us tackle and reduce metal theft by keeping their eyes open to any suspicious activity in their areas, particularly around isolated locations, and report it to us.
“Anyone with information should call West Mercia Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or report online via our website. If a crime is in progress, call 999.”
Mark Garnier, MP for Wyre Forest said “When I first became the Member of Parliament for Wyre Forest, I lobbied the Government for licensing businesses who dealt with scrap metal and welcomed the subsequent Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013. It was a pleasure to join the taskforce, seeing the multi agencies work together to enforce this legislation and also reducing the possible risk of fly tipping of un-licensed waste which blights our communities and last year cost local authorities across England £11.6million to clear.”