Brakes slammed on metal thieves

Police working alongside environmental health and VOSA searching and checking scrap metal vans at Pallion.

Police working alongside environmental health and VOSA searching and checking scrap metal vans at Pallion.

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SUSPECT vehicles were stopped and searched as police continued their tough crackdown on metal thefts.

 Northumbria Police officers joined forces with the Vehicle Operating and Standards Agency (Vosa) for an operation designed to slam the brakes on vehicles transporting stolen metal in Pallion.

On Wednesday, vehicles dropping off scrap at sites were stopped, with police and Vosa officers carrying out checks on the metal being transported as well as the vehicles being driven.

Vosa issued four drivers with prohibition notices, meaning their vehicles are not roadworthy.

Another vehicle was reported for not having the right documentation.

Acting Inspector Kevin Jones, of Sunderland West Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Operations like this mean we can make sure people transporting metal are complying with the law, that there vehicle is in working order and they have the right documentation.

“Those who aren’t will face the consequences.”

This year, police have carried out a string of operations to catch metal thieves and the scrapyards that buy stolen goods.

With the value of metal spiralling, police have seen a dramatic rise in the amount of metal being snatched across the city.

They have also carried out initiatives across the city, including leaflet drops warning residents to keep an eye out for thieves scaling roofs on the hunt for metal.

Selecta DNA – a special paint with a unique DNA – has also been used across the city to tag metal on houses, meaning if it is stolen and recovered police can identify where it has come from.

Acting Insp Jones added: “We are working relentlessly to reduce the amount of metal being stolen and will continue to do so.

“We continue to ask for the community’s help and contacting us with information.

“We’d urge residents to get in contact if they see anyone removing metal from buildings or substations, or if they see anyone carrying metal that seems suspicious.”

For more information on how to protect yourself from metal thieves, visit www.northumbria.pnn.police.uk or phone 03456 043 043 ex 69191.

Twitter: @sunechocrime