|Operation Alloy issues over £20,000 in fines
Police have struck another blow against metal theft after more than £20,000 was collected in fines last week during an operation in Wigan and Leigh.
From 8 to 14 September, traffic and motorcycle units targeted illegal metal collectors, or 'hawkers', using roads around the borough, and dealt with any other traffic offences they came across.
Officers also ran checks at scrap metal dealers to ensure they were trading legally, and offered advice to businesses so they were clear on what they should be doing.
The week of action coincided with a National seat belt campaign*, and over £17,000 was collected in fines after 170 seat belt offences were identified.
Sixteen vehicles were also seized for not having insurance, eight motorists were fined £1,600 in total for carrying excessive loads, and two scrap metal dealers were summonsed for operating without a licence.
In addition, four prohibition notices were issued to those driving defective vehicles, five warnings were given for vehicles being driven antisocially, and 48 traffic offence reports were made for driving without an MOT, driving while using a mobile phone, and having defective tyres, brakes or number plates.
John Woods, GMP's coordinator of Operation Alloy, said: "We have seen a huge drop in metal theft across the region over the last few years, and this has largely been down to various agencies working in close partnership and sharing information. It is important that we continue to monitor road networks, as it sends out a strong message to those trading in scrap metal that we are monitoring their activities."