Success for Norfolk metal theft campaign
A detective has today heralded the success of a major summer campaign against metal theft which has seen the levels of such crime in Norfolk buck the national trend.
Officers from Norfolk police have been stopping and searching vehicles suspected to be involved in metal theft since June as part of the ongoing Operation Radar scheme, which has led to a dramatic reduction in offences linked to rogue traders, bogus callers and scrap metal thieves.
The summer campaign, which is aimed at preventing opportunistic thieves from stealing from businesses, has included a number of multi-agency stops with partners checking for associated crimes such as benefit fraud, tax evasion and environmental offences.
Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs) have also visited scrap yards to offer staff support and advice, as well as offering a visible presence to discourage would-be thieves.
Nationally metal theft has risen by 70pc in the past 12 months but in Norfolk, this increase has been just over half that, at 40pc.
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Detective Sergeant Pete Jessop from Operation Radar said: 'As more vehicles have been stopped and challenged in Norfolk during our campaign, the national trend for an increase in thefts has been limited here.
'Only a small proportion of the 3,865 vehicles stopped were seized, so it is pleasing that there appears to be a reduction in drivers who are travelling around the county using illegal fuel or carrying metal without the right insurance. The message is slowly getting through.
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'A very large number of the vehicles stopped would have been genuine and hard working traders, but it is important to point out that the action we have taken is not only to ultimately protect potential victims from thefts, but also to protect those genuine traders who are directly affected by the rogue traders and lose business as a result.'
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