Clampdown on scrap metal thefts in County Durham

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Police in County Durham have been targeting vehicles in a crackdown on scrap metal thefts.

Research had identified several "hotspots" in the county, with most activity taking place about two hours either side of 1200 GMT.

A check site was set up from 1000 GMT on the A690 at West Rainton to intercept suspect vehicles.

Scrapyards in Durham and Sunderland were also visited to ensure appropriate regulations were being observed.

During the operation on Friday, there were two arrests for outstanding warrants, four vehicles seized as the driver had no insurance, and five drivers were served with immediate prohibition notices due to their vehicles having dangerous faults.

In addition, 18 fixed penalty notices were issued for a for a variety of offences.

The owners of the yards visited were invited to sign up to a "Good Practice" scheme, to confirm they will not buy metal or cable without proof of ownership.

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