SCRAP yards across Wigan have joined forces with Police to combat destructive metal theft.
Dealers with businesses in the borough have signed up to a new scheme that requires anyone selling metal salvage to provide photo ID.
The initiative has been introduced by GMP’s Operation Alloy team set up nine months ago to stem an increase in metal theft.
Police set up a number of roadside ‘stop and check’ operations including one near Boars Head in Standish yesterday (Wednesday) searching for vehicles transporting suspect metal shipments which also resulted in 11 vehicles being seized for insurance related and other offences, while 103 Fixed Penalty Notices being issued.
Officers are keen to reinforce these robust policing tactics with partnership work with scrap metal dealers to close down opportunities for thieves to profit from crime.
They have urged dealers to adopt the new scheme that will require anyone offering scrap metal for sale to provide photo identification that could include a photo card driving licence, passport or national ID card supported by a recent utility bill that includes their address. Officers say that this will make it harder for metal thieves to off load stolen goods and help them track suspect materials.
It will also help safeguard scrap dealers from becoming involved in illegal activity.
Wigan scrap dealers which have joined the scheme include Ainscough Metals in Lower Ince; Bithells in Westwood Road; BJ Skip Hire of Kirkless Industrial Estate; Caldrebanks of Miry Lane; Chadwick Waste of Manchester Road; Karalius and Gregory of Leeds Street; KAS Metals of Atherton; Kerfoot Metals of Leigh; Maxilead Metals of Tyldesley; Tim Calderbank Metal Recycling of Standish.
Superintendent Craig Thompson said: “Under Operation Alloy we have been targeting metal theft at a number of levels that include arresting metal thieves and taking action against scrap dealers who support them by turning a blind eye and failing to keep complete records of transactions.
“We have also been targeting criminal activity associated with metal theft.”