MORE than 50 people have been arrested under a scheme to tackle metal theft and stop travelling criminals in Northumberland.
Police have stopped and checked around 2,000 vans, lorries, flat beds and cars across the county since Operation Coin began in November.
When it was launched it was specifically aimed at disrupting metal thieves, but grew into an operation targeting all criminals who use the road network to commit crimes.
Recent action has seen seven men and one woman arrested for offences including the theft of roof lead, sections of railway lines and scrap metal, and for attempting to weigh stolen metal at a scrap dealer’s.
DCI Colin Green said: “This operation depends heavily on help from the public, especially in the more rural areas of Northumberland.
“We need residents to report any suspicious vehicles, people or behaviour to police as soon as they see it and when it’s happening.
“Other advice would be to be vigilant — note down the registration number of any scrap vehicles in your area and contact us with the information.”
DCI Green added: “The public are our eyes and ears on the ground and this information, which can be passed totally anonymously, can lead to arrests and criminals being stopped.
“Operation Coin will continue and these results should act as a warning to thieves to think twice about coming to commit crimes in Northumberland.”