Scrap metal action hailed a success

Operation Hansel team - from left to right: Temporary Sergeant Andy Sutherland, Temporary Sergeant Darren Cawthorne, PC Ian Robson and PC Graeme Allinson.
Operation Hansel team - from left to right: Temporary Sergeant Andy Sutherland, Temporary Sergeant Darren Cawthorne, PC Ian Robson and PC Graeme Allinson.
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A REGIONAL day of action to disrupt metal thieves has been hailed a success.

Operation Hansel saw vehicles stopped in the Cleveland Police and Durham Constabulary areas in a bid to catch and slow down those stealing items such as copper cables and lead from roofs to be sold to scrap merchants.

The crime has been highlighted as a priority by both forces and they joined North Yorkshire Police and British Transport Police to execute Operation Hansel at the end of last week.

It saw trucks stopped on the A19 and A1 with agencies including the Vehicle and Operators Services Agency (VOSA) and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) involved in the spot-checks.

Scrap yards were also visited during the operation on Thursday, September 29, which marked the launch of the new Operation Hansel team, a team dedicated to clamping down on metal thieves who inconvenience others and put theirs and others lives in danger for quick cash.

Temporary Sergeant Darren Cawthorne, who leads the new metal thefts team, said: “Operation Hansel has continuously been successful in the battle against those who steal metal for scrap.

“We will carry on supporting these operations along with our colleagues.”

At Exelby Services, officers from Cleveland Police and North Yorkshire Police stopped a total of 24 vehicles.

Two were seized for using illegal diesel, six immediate prohibitions were issued for vehicles that were not roadworthy and three fixed penalty notices were handed out for minor traffic offences.

At the same time, officers from Durham Constabulary and North Yorkshire Police stopped vehicles at Scotch Corner on the A1.

A number of prohibitions were issued for mechanical defects, overweight vehicles and exceeding driver’s hours.

Nine fixed penalty notices were issued for minor traffic offences, three waste carrier offences were detected and one person was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.