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Mids metal theft fight

Some 20 people from across the East Midlands were arrested in a week in March after a regional crackdown on metal theft. Police, government organisations and industry representatives from across the East Midlands worked out of a Metal Theft Reduction Control Room, based at Newark Police Station, in Queen’s Road. To illustrate the type of work being processed by the control room staff, Nottinghamshire Police ‘tweeted’ activity as it happened each day under the hashtag #metaltheft. Updates were also posted on Facebook.

The week culminated in a live online chat on Monday, March 12 with Chief Inspector Sean Anderson, Force and regional lead for metal theft, and Detective Sergeant Rob Lloyd of the Force’s metal theft reduction team.

Chief Inspector Anderson said: “Tackling metal crime from a single force perspective is not sufficient, as perpetrators use county borders to their advantage. The control room has allowed for a consolidated East Midlands approach and enabled us to pool resources and intelligence to disrupt and narrow the opportunity for offenders to move and sell this stolen material across the county boundaries.

“While it may not be sustainable to permanently have regional staff in the control room, we do hope to reassemble it at appropriate times throughout the year.

“What’s important is we have now created a dynamic network in the form of a virtual control room by which we can effectively communicate across the East Midlands to affect the swift processing of crimes and their offenders. We have never been in such a strong position in the fight against metal theft.”

The 30-year-old Hyson Green man arrested for possession of criminal property when a number of suspected stolen Calor gas bottles were found at premises in Nottingham city centre, has been bailed pending further enquiries.

The 23-year-old man arrested in connection with the theft of lead from a house in Worksop was released with no further action.

Of the 52 scrap metal yards in Nottinghamshire, 42 were visited and their records and stock checked.  Officers stopped 80 vehicles, seizing cars from seven motorists without insurance or valid insurance to carry scrap.

Three motorists without waste carrier licences were reported for summons to court, ten were issued with fines and points for offences such as speeding, and one was ordered to make their vehicle road safe. Some 200 pots of SmartWater were distributed across Nottinghamshire to enable officers to protect people’s homes from metal thieves.

The forensic liquid, which is invisible to the naked eye but detectible under ultraviolet light and includes a unique code registered to the owner of the property it is protecting, was used to protect the lead flashing around windows and copper pipes affixed to houses. Once marked with SmartWater, stolen metal can be identified by scrap metal dealers and the police.

Across the region, officers stopped 136 vehicles in total. Of those, 13 were seized from drivers. Nine motorists were found to be without waste carrier licences.

The online chat about metal crime – at

Meanwhile in Derbyshire elderly residents in Staveley have had their property security marked by local police to help prevent burglaries.

Residents at Aston Court Sheltered Housing were all offered free SmartWater kits to mark valuable items and given crime prevention advice by neighbourhood policing officers.

Officers from the Staveley Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team visited the flats on Friday, March 16 and applied the individual kits to property such as TVs, jewellery and collectable items.

Each SmartWater kit has a unique code that can be identified under UV light to help police return items that have been stolen and recovered to the owner.  The initiative was carried out after a number of burglaries in the area in recent weeks.


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