Tackling metal theft in Hemel Hempstead

The operation focused on prevention, education and enforcement

Monday, 26th October 2020, 3:54 pm
Updated Monday, 26th October 2020, 3:58 pm

Hertfordshire Police has supported a national week of action to help reduce metal theft.

The operation, coordinated by British Transport Police, ran from Monday, October 12, and focused on prevention, education and enforcement.

Throughout the week, officers from safer neighbourhood teams across the county, with support from the Rural Operational Support Team (ROST), carried out a number of proactive operations and visited local scrap metal dealers to provide advice.

Police

Officers also used it as an opportunity to further promote and build on the work undertaken as part of Operation Feline – an initiative launched in response to a sharp rise in catalytic converter thefts.

In Dacorum compliance checks were carried out at two scrap metal dealers, in partnership with the local authority.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Clawson said: “Over the past year we have seen a big rise in thieves targeting catalytic converters.

"This week of action gave us an opportunity to further promote the work we have been doing to target this under Operation Feline, while also ensuring that scrap metal merchants across the county were complying with regulations.

“As part of the Op Feline campaign, certain garages across the county are offering a free security marking service and I’d urge residents to take up this offer. Details of the garages involved can be found on the Herts police website.

“We would also urge the public to follow our crime prevention advice, remain vigilant and report incidents of suspected catalytic converter theft, particularly where people are trying to get under cars in public car parks or on public roads. If you see this happening, please call 999 immediately.”

The week culminated with a day of enforcement, in partnership with Essex Police, Cambridgeshire Constabulary and a number of partnership agencies.

The aim was to target travelling criminality on the M11 and A505, on the borders of Cambridgeshire, Essex and Hertfordshire.

Throughout the day:

- 38 vehicles including trailers, caravans and construction machinery were stopped and examined

- 42 drivers prosecuted for speeding

- One reported for driving without a licence

- 65 drivers reported for no tax

- Two drivers reported for no MOT

- Three drivers reported for no licence and their vehicles seized

- One vehicle and one trailer recovered for serious roadworthiness defects

- One stolen car seized

- Three people arrested, two for theft of fuel and one for being wanted on warrant.

ROST Sergeant Ryan Hemmings added: “The ROST has recently expanded in numbers, enabling us to be more actively involved in gathering intelligence and enforcement, whilst also strengthening our relationships with stakeholders.

"Supporting local teams across the county as part of scrap metal week gave us an opportunity to put these powers into action.”

If you have any information about the theft of metal or associated crime, please report it to police.

You can report information online at herts.police.uk/report, or call 101. Alternatively, you can stay anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.