As part of a crack down by Gwent police has seen 21,000 cars being seized since April last year as a way of combating metal theft. There strategy has since been adopted by other police forces.
The new methods have seen 862 people arrested in connection with metal theft offences and a further 761 people summoned into court. Police in Wales have since adopted this method across all constabularies as the best method for fighting metal theft.
Since the fight against metal thefts, Gwent police have worked with other agencies and partners including VOSA, the Department of Work and Pensions, British Transport Police and the Environment Agency.
Almost 22,000 (21,942) vehicles have been stopped, and an estimated 70 van loads of scrap metal has been confiscated.
The overall number of people who have been stopped/searched stands at 8,628, with a total of 1,471 vehicles being seized, approximately 2,600 fixed penalty notices have been issued, approximately 280 people have been referred to the DWP, two scrap yards have since been closed down and a total of 61 stolen vehicles have been recovered by Gwent police.
In July, two men were summoned to court for encroaching the rules of the scrap metal act of 1964. The two men failed to were unregistered and failed to keep records. This was the first successful conviction of its kind.
Chief Inspector Glyn Fernquest was quoted as saying: “The Force is making real progress in tackling this criminality and the fact that other forces are now adopting methods we have used to tackle metal thieves is testament to the skill and determination of our officers and our partner agencies.”
Police across the UK are now urging people with knowledge of metal thefts to come forward in order to stop the rise in crime.