11 June 2012>
Gwent Police's Risca Neighbourhood Policing Team and Caerphilly County Borough Council's Public Protection team have been commended for a partnership which has resulted in a substantial 50% reduction in metal thefts in the area.
The partnership was presented with the Working in Partnership Award at this year's Gwent Police awards by the Chief Constable, having developed an innovative scheme called 'No ID No Cash', a scheme designed to reduce metal theft using legislation under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964.
The scheme, believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, set out to register all metal collectors, and provide them with photographic ID cards and the necessary recording log books free of charge. The scheme also clearly set out to fully educate scrap metal dealers on their responsibilities to keep records of any receipts of metal or sales for two years.
By January 2012, 151 metal collectors were registered with the new scheme.
Officers from Gwent Police and Caerphilly County Borough Council also carried out regular 'stop-check' enforcement days, which involved stopping metal collectors at the roadside and checking their record keeping.
This proactive enforcement approach, together with the implementation of 'No ID No Cash' resulted in a 50% reduction in metal thefts in the local area.
Chief Constable, Carmel Napier said, "I'm delighted that metal theft is declining in the Caerphilly local policing area, as a result of this scheme and relentless policing operations. The scheme has attracted national attention and was looked at by the House of Commons transport select committee earlier this year. This project evidences how partnership working can achieve significant results".
Sergeant Simon Clark said, "I have seen first hand the impact scrap metal theft has had on our communities in Caerphilly county borough – a war memorial in Crumlin being vandalised and a plaque stolen of irreplaceable sentimental value are just two examples of the ruthlessness of these sorts of crimes".
He continued, "Over the last ten months, the partnership have successfully conducted enforcement days every month – over 1,000 people and vehicles have been stopped carrying scrap metal and in excess of 50 vehicles have had their metal seized due to the collectors failing to be registered or for failing to account for where the metal came from".
Cllr Dave Poole, Cabinet Member for Community and Leisure Services at Caerphilly County Borough Council said, "The theft of metal can have a terrible impact upon our communities – here in Caerphilly county borough we have previously seen callous and thoughtless thefts of metal items including a children's playground slide and a set of rugby posts".
He continued, "It is especially pleasing that this partnership approach to tackling this very important issue has been so successful, using a two-pronged approach of enforcement and education".
The scheme has been identified as best practice across Wales, with all local authority areas in the Gwent Police force area having since adopted the same scheme. It is also being rolled out in places such as Carmarthenshire.
Sergeant Simon Clark concluded, "On behalf of all within the partnership, we are very proud of the 'Working in Partnership' award – metal crime has fallen substantially in the area in the past year and I am proud of our contribution to this".
The council's Licensing Section are producing photo ID cards free of charge for metal collectors as part of the 'No ID No Cash' scheme. To apply for a photo ID card, please call 01495 235 039.
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