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Operation Tornado aims to blow away Black Country metal crime
12:38pm Friday 14th September 2012 in Local
BLACK Country crooks will have a tougher time selling stolen metal after the introduction of new rules for scrap dealers.
West Midlands Police has announced the arrival of Operation Tornado which means anyone disposing of metal will be asked for photo identification.
Officers say the rules will crack down on thieves by making it hard to get rid of ill-gotten gains, especially if they are trying to sell large amounts of stolen scrap.
Detective inspector Gordon Roberts, who leads a team dedicated to cracking metal crime, said: "We shall be driving the regional response to metal theft via Operation Tornado and making sure that scrap dealers throughout the area are complying with the rules.
"In the past we have seen criminals travelling hundreds of miles, across several police boundaries, to sell on what they have stolen because they know that some forces have been tough on cracking down on scrap metal dealers. Operation Tornado will get rid of that trend, as the whole country will be coming on board.
"We know that in the West Midlands we have been robust in ensuring our traders are acting within the law, and their customers are taking note.
"In one case a convicted illegal trader closed up his yard and hung a sign on the gates to say he'd closed because of police."
In other areas of the UK where Operation Tornado is already up and running, metal theft offences have reduced by between 40 and 60 per cent.
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