Four vehicles were seized and one person arrested in a police crackdown on the stolen scrap metal trade on Wednesday (February 13).
Beds Police officers, PCSOs and the council’s environmental protection team were patrolling the streets of Luton ensuring people trading in scrap metal are operating legally.
Metal thefts are increasing as criminals look to take advantage of soaring metal prices and steal items such as gas and water pipes, electricity cables, gates and catalytic converters stolen to be traded.
Sergeant Giles Hutchinson who headed up the operation said: “The 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.”
One person was arrested for possessing an offensive weapon, four vehicles were seized and four given producers for waste licences during the operation.
At the end of 2012, a change in legislation meant that scrap metal dealers in England and Wales could no longer make cash payments for metal.
Penalties for those breaking the law also increased in amendments to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill.
Metal thefts can cause huge damage to local buildings and the environment.
Anyone who has information about this issue should contact police on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. You do not have to give your name but you could still receive a cash reward. If you see anyone stealing or moving metal items which you suspect are stolen, contact police immediately on 999.