A REGIONAL crackdown on metal theft has been welcomed by a rural interest group.
The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has backed action by local police forces to tackle the problem in the new Operation Tornado.
The initiative has already led to a number of raids on sites suspected of profiting from illegal sales of metals, and there is a drive to make it easier to trace sellers of stolen metal through new rules on identification.
The CLA is campaigning for legislation to ban cash sales of scrap metal.
North Regional Director Dorothy Fairburn said: “Stolen metal is being traded too easily within the scrap metal industry and I am delighted that the police are beginning to clamp down on the offenders.
“Hundreds of CLA members have been victims of metal theft, with some losing thousands of pounds repairing and replacing stolen lead and other metals.
“Banning cash sales would prevent anonymous sales because the metal could always be traced back to the person who sold it to the dealer.”