Cllr Mike O'Brien examines a load

Officers from Medway Council and Kent Police have visited scrap merchants based in Medway during an operation against metal thefts.

The national initiative follows concerns from the Association of Chief Police Officers about the high number of reported metal thefts from homes and businesses. Thieves have also cut off power supplies to steal cable from electricity sub stations , and they’ve targetted railways and telephone systems.

During the Medway operation vehicles carrying waste materials were stopped and asked to provide their waste carrying licences and transfer notes which document the origin of the waste. Kent Police carried out checks on insurance and searched through the metals onboard vehicles looking for stolen items.

One company was issued with a fixed penalty notice for not producing waste transfer notes.

Councillor Mike O’Brien, Medway’s portfolio holder for Community Safety, who accompanied the team throughout the day, said “It’s important that members of the public in Medway help the police by reporting any suspicious activity as soon as they see it. These metal thieves are risking people’s lives and they have to be stopped.