Two businesses in Hyndburn have been served with closure notices following a crackdown operation to target metal thieves.
The notices were served by Hyndburn Borough Council’s environmental protection team at businesses on Moorfield Road in Accrington and Alliance Street in Baxenden in relation to breaches of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.
It came as more than 150 police officers across the county took part in Operation Tornado to target metal thieves and the transportation of stolen materials.
Lancashire Constabulary carried out the operation with partner agencies, including local authorities’ licensing teams, the Environment Agency, Border Force and HMRC.
Roads policing teams carried out stop checks on nearly 200 commercial vehicles to ensure that they were in possession of the correct paperwork, including waste carrier licences and business insurance.
All mobile dealers were found to be complying with the relevant regulations, but 38 drivers were reported for vehicle offences relating to roadworthiness of their vehicles.
Officers also visited scrap yards across the county to educate and enforce dealers on the new guidance regarding legislation of cashless purchasing.
All scrap dealers visited were found to be compliant with the new regulations.
Neighbourhood policing teams in partnership with local authority officers conducted home visits to properties identified as being at risk of burglary, metal and lead thefts.
Leaflets were delivered and crime prevention advice offered along with property marking where appropriate.
Chief Inspector Michael Adamson, of Lancashire Police, said it was a ‘very productive day of action’ and sent out a ‘positive message to the public’ over the targeting of metal thieves.
He said: “Metal theft offences have a detrimental effect on our local communities and by carrying out spot checks and continuing to enforce the legislation around scrap metal trading, we are cutting off the criminals’ cash flow and sending a clear message that there is no market for stolen metals in Lancashire.
“I’d like to thank all of the other agencies who supported us throughout the day and for the continuing co-operation of scrap dealers. Operation Tornado is designed not to inhibit those dealers that operate lawfully, but to remove unscrupulous dealers who operate outside the law.
“In the last two years we have seen a 57 per cent decrease in reports of metal thefts in Lancashire and we will continue to disrupt and deter those criminals who approach dealers with stolen metal to make a quick profit from others’ loss, and those responsible will be robustly targeted and prosecuted.”