Police have come to the end of a month-long crackdown on metal theft throughout Cornwall and Devon.
Throughout February, police mounted Operation Mountain; an operation created to disturb and reduce the amount of metal thefts in the regions.
Due to the recent upsurge in metal prices coupled with the economic difficulties throughout the country, metal thefts have risen nationwide, with Devon and Cornwall also subjected to this rise.
Travelling criminals have stolen from many rural locations where policing isn’t as prominent, with new building developments, rail networks, industrial sites, churches, schools and areas with installed cables hit the hardest.
Officers aimed their attentions towards vehicles travelling along roads in Devon and Cornwall, with stop-checks carried out with the support of intelligence-led policing.
Police implemented Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems to combat the thefts.
High visibility patrols have also been used as a deterrent to anyone thinking about committing a crime.
Inspector Dave Meredith believes it’s too early to assess the level of success the operation had, but similar operations will be conducted in the future.
“Stop-checks on vehicles were generally very well received, with several drivers of commercial vehicles stating that their business had suffered losses over recent months from the increase in metal thefts,” officer Meredith explained.
“This operation sends out a clear message that Devon and Cornwall police recognise the impact of metal thefts on the community, and are prepared to dedicate resources to detect and deter offenders involved in these crimes.”
Anyone who sees suspicious activity in the area is urged to contact their local police force with any details.