Police arrest 20 in metal theft crackdown in East Midlands

Twenty people have been arrested on suspicion of metal theft in a week-long campaign in the East Midlands.

Police said they visited 60 scrap metal dealers as part of a new regional campaign to tackle metal theft.

Officers said some stolen scrap metal was found and confiscated in the campaign last week.

Ch Insp Sean Anderson, of Nottinghamshire Police, said metal dealers were urged to ask for identification before paying for metal.

"We are asking scrap metal dealers to sign up to Operation Tornado… which asks them to make sure they don't purchase metal for cash unless they see a passport or photo identification."

Three people were arrested in Derbyshire, nine in Lincolnshire, three in Leicestershire, two in Nottinghamshire and three in the West Midlands.

There has been a 13% increase in reported metal thefts in Nottinghamshire alone so far this year compared to the same period last year, Mr Anderson said.

Nottinghamshire Police have also helped spray some businesses and homes with Smartwater which leaves an invisible code on lead flashing and other metal.

An online webchat was also being held by the police force on Monday evening to inform people how to protect their homes and businesses against metal theft.

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