Joint operation to stop illegal scrap metal collections

Illegal scrap metal collections are being targeted.
Illegal scrap metal collections are being targeted.

Thames Valley Police has carried out a joint operation with Cherwell District Council to target illegal scrap metal collection in the area.

The operation took place on Wednesday, March 11 and Thursday, March 12 and was part of the national metal theft days of action, which aims to cut scrap metal theft and illegal dealing.

Officers used Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras to find mobile scrap metal dealers, and conducted roaming patrols of the area.

About 20 officers were involved from the Cherwell neighbourhood team, with 34 vehicles stopped during the operation including one vehicle seized for not having the correct insurance.

Sergeant Becky Fishwick of Banbury Police Station, said: “I am pleased with the result of the operation. We have a number of licensed scrap metal collectors who collect in the Cherwell area, but we also receive information from the community of the people collecting scrap metal that are unlicensed.

“Targeting unlicensed scrap metal collectors sends a message to our licensed collectors that we will make sure they are complying with the terms of their licence, and sends a strong message to those collecting scrap metal illegally that we will not tolerate this and will take action.”

It is an offence for a scrap metal dealer to purchase scrap metal for cash – dealers must pay by cheque or by electronic transfer and they must record transactions.

Mobile scrap collectors must have a collector’s licence issued by the local authority. Cherwell residents wishing to dispose of scrap metal should use a licensed dealer.

To confirm whether a dealer has a licence, residents can call Cherwell District Council on 01295 227001.