Clampdown on scrap metal theft

POLICE in Kirkcaldy have been tackling scrap metal thefts and targeting vehicles for traffic offences as part of a special ‘Day of Action’.

The event on Friday involved officers across Fife and was held to support the Force’s launch of the new four-year Policing Plan.

As part of the day of action, police combated a range of crimes including drugs, vandalism, thefts and anti-social behaviour issues.

Kirkcaldy officers led with Operation Journal - this was aimed at reducing and detecting the number of scrap thefts in the area.

Due to the ongoing high value of scrap metal, this type of theft has risen. Kirkcaldy officers were accompanied by staff from the government’s Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and HM Revenue and Customs.

The use of vehicle identification technology was used at key roads into the area which identified suspect vehicles with road policing staff carrying out checks in the north end of the town.

Suspect vehicles were directed to specialised premises in Kirkcaldy where government agencies examined them.

Traffic offences

The initiative included the use of plain clothes officers for intelligence gathering and a total of 26 target vehicles were stopped with charges being brought in relation to various traffic offences - including three vehicle defect rectification scheme tickets, a fixed penalty ticket and two warrants being issued.

In another development four men were detained by the UK Borders Agency - whilst working at premises in the town - on suspicion of having illegal status in the UK.

The Department of Work and Pensions traced two men who were working whilst claiming benefits with a considerable amount of information to be processed regarding other people interviewed during the initiative.

Finally, the Vehicle and Operators Services Agency (VOSA) detected three un-roadworthy vehicles and issued prohibition notices to each.

Operation Bolt was also rolled out across Fife and it is aimed at improving the detection of specific crime groups including dishonesty, indecency, violence and vandalism.

Operation Bolt was introduced in January and continues until the end of the month. So far, staff on this initiative have seized drugs from street level dealers valued at over £71,000 and have detected over 380 crimes.