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23/05/13: Twenty people arrested during a major operation to crack down on stolen metal

Twenty people have been arrested during an early morning raid to help crack down on stolen metal in Greater Manchester. Twenty people arrested during police raids in Greater Manchester to crack down on metal theft

The police-led operation, which took place yesterday (Wednesday 22nd May), targeted scrap metal dealers in Rochdale, Bury, north Manchester, Oldham, Bolton and Salford. Partner agencies, including Electricity North West, were on hand to help in the search and recovery of potentially stolen metal.

Steve Cox, future network manager for Electricity North West, said: "We have been working closely with Greater Manchester Police and the British Transport Police and yesterday's successful day of action highlights our commitment to crack down on this very serious crime.

"Metal theft not only affects us, your network operator, but also communities and residents, who could be left without power in their homes.

"These thieves, who are breaking into our substations or stealing from our overhead lines, are putting themselves and others in great danger and it causes thousands of pounds worth of damage.

"We are investing a lot of money and resources into putting a stop to metal theft in our region once and for all, but we would still urge people to get in touch if they hear or see anything suspicious."

Eight scrap yards were raided in total, as well as the home addresses of those arrested.

Superintendent Craig Thompson who leads Operation Alloy, GMP's forcewide fight against metal theft, said: "What yesterday is all about is targeting those rogue dealers who are suspected of lining their own pockets and making huge swathes of cash by knowingly selling stolen metal. In terms of officer numbers and the sheer scale of the investigation, this is the biggest operation ourselves and British Transport Police have run which shows our determination to tackling metal theft."

Anyone with information regarding metal theft should call Electricity North West’s free emergency 24-hour number on 0800 195 4141, the police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always dial 999.

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