Tees

Drivers in Hartlepool face metal theft checks

Police in Hartlepool have introduced spot checks of vehicles delivering metal to scrap yards as part of a crackdown on thefts.

The town has seen a rise in metal thefts from buildings and even roadside drain covers.

Cleveland Police officers are now stopping people visiting some scrap metal merchants and checking the validity of the scrap being weighed in.

A spokesman said the thefts were having a "significant effect" on the town.

Supt Glenn Gudgeon said: "People often see it as a faceless crime and that it doesn't have much of an impact on people, but I can safely say that we have spoken to victims and the repercussions on their lives have been tremendous.

"In some instances people's lives have been put at risk so thieves can get their hands on a small amount of metal.

"This is not just scrap metal that they are stealing, these are things that form the infrastructure of the town, they keep people's houses secure and businesses running.

He said officers will be targeting people thought to be involved in theft and the handling of stolen goods.

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