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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

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Police operation visits Barrow scrapyards

SCRAPYARDS received a surprise visit as police carried out a day of action to combat metal theft.

A new law banning scrapyards from paying cash for metal came into force last Monday and police across the county followed up with spot checks and vehicle inspections on Friday.

In Barrow, police stopped 67 vehicles on the A590 near Dalton in the morning, before setting off to inspect Furness scrapyards.

One yard visited by police was WRG Recycling, in Walney Road, Barrow, where site manager Andy Orr said the first week of the new law had seen a reduction in the number of people coming to sell metal.

“I think people are just taking their time to get used to it,” he said.

Mal Myers, of MJM Recycling, who was delivering a batch of waste to WRG, said although the new law caused him some inconvenience, he was fed up of being given a bad name by people selling scrap illegally.

“I am Barrow born and bred and this is my livelihood, but you get people coming in from out of town, picking up a washing machine, kids’ bikes, or whatever else is in a garden and it affects the rest of us,” he said.

He said he regularly sees people in vans cruising the streets of Barrow and picking up scrap.

PC Trevor Jones, of the South Cumbria intelligence unit, who was carrying out the checks, said the number of metal thefts in the area was dropping, but people were coming into the area to sell stolen scrap.

However, it was clear that theft was still a problem.

Scrapyards in the area were given a green, amber or red rating, which dictated how often they were visited and inspected by police, he said.

The majority of scrapyards in Furness had a green rating but working with them was a good way of gathering information about people who had sold them stolen metal.

At WRG people who sell metal have to provide proof of identity and if the goods are stolen then the information is passed onto police.

Police were joined by staff from the Environment Agency and the Department for Work and Pensions to carry out the work, as illegal metal dealers can often break laws around waste management or be found to be claiming incapacity benefit.

Have your say

I, for one, am glad that Barrow police have solved all crime and disorder problems in Barrow - so they can focus their efforts on the scourge of scrap metal theft.

Posted by Alexander Smith on 11 December 2012 at 14:16

only photo id is permitted and a cheque for even a small amount is issued, I got one for less than 15 quid and it took 7 days to clear but I was told that gypsy s or travellers are exempt from having id and also can be paid cash which is discrimination in my book

Posted by ged on 10 December 2012 at 22:04

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