Clamp down on Falkirk scrap metal thefts

Police officers stopped over 100 drivers in a clamp down on metal thefts and road crime
Police officers stopped over 100 drivers in a clamp down on metal thefts and road crime

Over 100 vans and cars were stopped in a crack down in metal thefts and road crimes last week.

Operation Scandium, a joint initiative from Police Scotland, Falkirk Council, Scottish Power and road and environmental agencies, set up a check centre on the A9 Northern Distributor Road last Thursday.

The day resulted in one trader being given a formal warning for trading in scrap metal without a licence and four vehicles were taken off the road with serious defects.

One was found to have such serious an oil leak it could not be driven and had to be towed away.

The initiative was part of UK wide action to ensure scrap dealers and traders were aware of their new responsibilities as part of the Air Weapon and Licensing Scotland Act (2015).

Chief Inspector Stephen Innes said “We want to educate those who use scrap metal dealers of the changes coming into force, particularly around cashless transactions and use our partnership activity to disrupt those using the road networks to commit crime.

“Metal theft strikes at the heart of communities, whether it is phone cable, lead metal from church roofs or catalytic converters taken from vehicles. Once metal is stolen, it has to be transported and disposed of somewhere. By denying criminals the use of our roads, we can keep our routes and neighbourhoods safe.”

The crackdown came the day after thieves stole 250m of cabling from the train tracks between Cumbernauld and Falkirk, creating misery for commuters and thousands of pounds worth of damage.

The new act will come into force later this year and prevent scrap dealers for paying out in cash.

It is hoped the law will make it more difficult for thieves to sell on their scrap and prevent metal theft.

England enforced a similar law in 2013, with metal thefts down a third in that time.