Police are hoping to expand a crackdown on metal theft in South Wales after twenty people were arrested in the first operation of a joint task force.
British Transport Police (BTP) and Gwent police made the arrests for offences including cable and metal theft over a three week period last month in a an attempt to kerb the criminal activity in the Caerphilly area.
As part of the operation, police stopped and searched itinerant collectors, checking all vehicles occupants, record keeping and registration and other documentation.
Fifteen loads of scrap metal were seized in the crackdown, with 14 people reported for failing to keep records. Other offences included driving, insurance, drugs and benefit fraud.
BTP said it hoped to extend the reach of the operation following the success of the clampdown.
A statement said: “Over the three-week period, the work carried out contributed to a massive reduction in metal theft and other aspects of criminality. Most notably, not a single metal theft took place in the Rhymney Valley, which had always been an area where metal thefts had caused severe disruption to the railway.”