Scores of drivers are stopped in push to find travelling criminals

Police border checks
Police border checks

Police stopped more than 50 vehicles and made five arrests during a crackdown on criminals coming into Calderdale.

Officers from the Upper Valley neighbourhood policing teamed up with the regional roads policing team and officers from Greater Manchester Police and Lancashire Police to carry out checks on cars, lorries and vans coming in and out of Calderdale.

The arrests included one man on suspicion of having an offensive weapon.

Inspector Dave Browning, who leads the Upper Valley neighbourhood policing team, urged residents to tell them what crime was happening in the area so they could set up more operations like this one to tackle it.

The officers were also on the look-out for scrap metal thieves. One vehicle was seized after being found overladen with metal.

Their operation comes as crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers tries to boost the amount of information being called in about metal theft across Yorkshire.

The crime has included the theft of manhole covers, lead from church roofs and war memorials and is estimated to cost the UK £770 million every year.

Crimestoppers’ regional manager Dave Hunter said: “Crimestoppers wants to encourage the public to fight back against the metal thieves who create severe disruption for local communities and cost millions to the UK economy.”

Assistant Chief Constable Geoff Dodd, from West Yorkshire Police, added: “This is an issue we take very seriously and tackling metal theft is a top priority. But the answer to this issue lies in the communities we serve across West Yorkshire.

“In order to assist us in tackling this type of crime we need members of the public to be our eyes and ears and to pass on any information they have.

“All information helps us to build a clear picture of what is going on – so someone might spot people acting suspiciously by a church and then driving off in a van.

“Just take a note of the registration and pass it on. It might be that we have seven other pieces of intelligence linking that van to other thefts and that final piece in the jigsaw helps us to arrest someone.”

Meanwhile Yorkshire Water is fighting back against metal thieves by trialling fibre-glass manhole covers.

The company says an average of £20,000 of metal is stolen every month from its network, including earthing cable, grating, metal signs and fencing, as well as manhole covers, and Halifax is a hotspot for the crime.

Not only is manhole cover theft costing a significant amount of money, but it is also putting lives at risk, with the company reporting several unsuspecting members of the public injuring themselves on open manholes.

As well as being durable, the fibre-glass manhole covers are cheaper to install and have little scrap value.

To report metal theft call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.