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Operation Chattel target metal thieves across the county

March 11, 2013, 8:02 am

Metal thieves were the target of a three-day operation carried out by Hertfordshire Constabulary between Monday, March 4 and Wednesday, March 6.

The multi-agency Operation Chattel targeted those suspected of being involved in the theft of metal and catalytic convertors.

On March 4 and 5, police and Trading Standards officers visited scrap metal dealers across Hertfordshire, acting on intelligence gathered by Hertfordshire Constabulary and the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU).

One dealer received a warning as their weighing equipment was not working properly and they were ordered to fix the equipment within 21days. At another scrap dealer, three offences were identified for which investigations are on-going. ERSOU secured funding for the hire of specialist equipment which enabled officers to check if scrap dealers weighbridges were meeting legal requirements. Scrap dealers records were also reviewed to see if appropriate details were being recorded of people selling metal to the yards.

On March 6, officers working on the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and Roads Policing units carried out operations at two locations in Stapleford and Hoddesdon, using ANPR cameras and marked and unmarked police vehicles. These operations resulted in 39 vehicles being stopped for the following offences:

  • 2 vehicle seizures
  • 3 defective tyres
  • 1 vehicle defect rectification
  • 3 had no registration plates
  • 1 using a mobile phone while driving
  • 1 had no operators licence for carrying waste
  • 1 no road tax
  • 3 itinerant scrap dealers not registered as scrap metal dealers

Chief Inspector Dave Partridge, leading Operation Chattel, said: “Metal theft has been falling in the county over the last year and it is getting more and more difficult for criminals to buy and sell stolen metal. Operation Chattel was carried out to put even more pressure on those involved in this type of illegal activity, especially those trading in stolen catalytic converters.”

Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd added: “Metal theft can be damaging for Hertfordshire’s economy and for residents. I’m glad to say that it has reduced over the last year. That’s why I support tough enforcement action like this on catalytic converter thefts and other unacceptable trading in stolen metal. New legislation recently introduced to regulate scrap dealers is helping to crack down on this illicit trading and we are making sure that we take full advantage of this new tool in the fight against metal theft.”

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