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Scrap metal dealers raided and arrests made in UK-wide operation

British Transport Police’s Metal Theft Task Force (MTTF) searched more than 100 scrap metal dealers and made 75 arrests in a recent ‘Week of Action’ to clamp down on metal theft.

The week-long operation coincided with Europol’s recent Day of Action where 271 arrests across Europe were made.

The MTTF worked with 32 forces, with involvement from other agencies including HM Revenue and Customs, the Environment Agency, local councils and authorities, Trading Standards, Smart Water and Network Rail.

A total of 659 officers made 379 visits to scrap metal dealers and searched 127, three of which were issued with closure notices under the Scrap Metal Dealers (SMD) Act 2013.

A British Transport Police spokesperson told MRW that they were unable to name the three dealers at that stage, but confirmed that the closure notices were issued to businesses in North Wales, London and Liverpool.

Seventy-five arrests were made. Twenty were related to theft, non-compliance with the SMD Act and the Environment Act, and drugs.

The remaining 55 followed vehicle stops and were for offences related to theft, handling stolen goods, non-compliance with the SMD Act and Environment Act, drugs and drink driving.

Items recovered in the operation included 90kg or telecom cable, 50kg of BT specific cable, £4,600 worth of Thames Water cable, seven catalytic converters, two trailers stolen from Milton Keynes museum, a set of French doors and a set of historical re-enactment costumes.

The next operation, which will be another week-long action, will take place in mid-July.

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