Scrap dealers caught in ‘sting’ operation

SCRAP metal dealers believed to be flouting the law have been caught in a multi-agency sting operation in Market Rasen.

West Lindsey District Council, Lincolnshire Police, the Environment Agency, Smartwater and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency all worked together in an operation in Gallamore Lane that resulted in several vehicles being seized after inspections discovered safety faults, road traffic offences and insurance irregularities.

Investigations are also continuing to discover if the vehicles have been used to transport stolen scrap metal after a marked increase in the number of reported thefts.

In total two drivers were given fixed penalties for having no insurance, one skip lorry was seized for not being a a road worthy condition, one person was fined for driving while on their mobile phone, one fixed penalty was issue for a driver failing to wear a seat belt and four people were spoken to at the roads side by the Department for Work and Pensions for benefit fraud.

Chairman of the prosperous communities committee at WLDC, Coun Malcolm Parish, said: “This is really good news, and shows how well multi-agency operations can work.

“It is disgraceful that so much theft of lead and scrap metal goes on. Working together is a really effective way to cut crime.”

A spokesman for Lincolnshire Police added: “The idea of this operation was to disrupt people that may be involved in scrap metal theft, which is a high problem in the county at the moment and is affecting every area due to the high value of scrap metal”

Police say that the operation also led to several leads in the fight against scrap metal theft.

Smartwater officials were in attendance to examine scrap for possible theft of metal as part of the campaign.

SmartWater is a clear liquid that is used to code valuable items such as jewellery, ornaments, electrical items and even motor vehicles.

It cannot be easily seen by the naked eye and is almost impossible to remove.

The liquid glows under ultraviolet light, making it easy for the police to detect.