MORE than 350 officers from British Transport Police have taken part in a crackdown on stolen metal.

Inspector Dave Rams said: “With new legislation making it much easier to trace thieves at the point of sale of stolen metal we switched our attention to the methods used to transport the material.

This was a huge undertaking and we worked closely with several industries, as well as agencies such as HMRC, Environment Agency, Network Rail and UK Border Force, to build a clear intelligence picture of how stolen metal is moved on.”

During the week northwest officers visited more than 150 scrap metal recycling yards and stopped more than 2,300 vehicles.

During the same day of the operation, officers seized more than 350kg of BT cabling which, enquiries have revealed netted the thief around £450, but would cost more than £10,000 to reinstate on the communication network.