£2675 has been recovered in costs and fines in just over five months from illegal scrap metal collectors.
Since September 2012 Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and partner agencies have successfully prosecuted five rogue collectors and helped to clamp down on metal theft in the area.
The latest offender to be targeted by the multi agency team, Gary Evans, aged 26 from Snowden Court, Caerphilly was spotted in the Rhondda area whilst the team were out on patrol, as part of the Metal Theft clamp down on the illegal transportation of scrap metal.
The clamp down follows a spate of metal thefts across the County Borough and the dedicated team are now out in force checking vehicles across Rhondda Cynon Taf.
The team stopped the van and approached the driver, Mr Evans and he was then asked to produce documentation to prove that he was registered to carry waste. Mr Evans was unable to produce the transfer notes at the time and was issued with a section 34 waste producer, which gives the person 7 days to produce the documents. Mr Evans failed to produce the notes and the issue was referred to Magistrate Court.
Mr Evans appeared in Court and pleaded guilty of transporting controlled waste without the correct documentation, an offence under the Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989. Mr Evans received a fine of 180, costs of £150 and a victim surcharge of £15 – a total of £345.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and South Wales Police head up the crack down and bring in other partner agencies, such as the British Transport Police as part of their far-reaching work to:
Protect communities from the harm caused by metal theft
Cut crime and deter further offences
Identify and tackle metal theft offenders
Raise awareness and inspire the community to get involved
Ensure key partners, such as scrap metal dealerships and traveling scrap metal collectors, are doing their bit to cut crime by operating legally and responsibly.
In a bid to catch those responsible and clamp down on the illegal transportation of controlled waste the team is continuing to monitor the transportation of scrap metal.
“Scrap metal is a controlled waste and must be transported in accordance with the current control of pollution legislation. It is an offence for people to transport scrap metal for profit or reward without first registering with the Environment Agency,’ said Nigel Wheeler, Director for Streetcare at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council.
“This case also highlights how valuable the sharing of intelligence and information is when it comes to catching criminals and tackling metal theft. The Council is working closely with many different organisations and has forged a good working relationship with South Wales Police. We will catch those who continue to steal from tax payers.”
The Council has already informed local scrap dealers that handling stolen goods is illegal and if any of the Council’s property is found to be in their possession then the police will be contacted and they will face a fine, a criminal record and potentially prison. As part of the crack down the Metal theft team is introducing Operation Tornado in the area which requires anyone selling scrap metal to participating dealers to provide photographic proof of identity, ensuring that metal can no longer be sold anonymously.
If you have any information relating to a Metal Theft please come forward, you do not have to give your name if you wish to remain anonymous. Contact South Wales Police on 101, the Council on 01443 425001, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.