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Operation Tornado is being launched across Wales in a bid to crack down on metal theft.

All four Welsh Police Forces are taking part in the operation, which has already seen successes in other parts of the UK. All scrap metal dealers in Wales will be approached and encouraged to part in a scheme where they only buy scrap metal from individuals that are able to provide photographic proof of their identity.

This will include either a photo card driving licence including an address, or a passport or national ID card supported by a utility bill, which must be under three months old and show their address.

In local authority areas where ID schemes are already established for itinerant collectors, then this will also include a local authority issued photo ID card.

The operation is being spearheaded by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and British Transport Police. In the North East of England, the theft of metal fell by around a half following the introduction of Operation Tornado.

Detective Inspector Mark Cleland, of British Transport Police, said: “We will be working with scrap metal dealers to enforce this code of conduct until legislation kicks in later in the year. We want to work with them to professionalise the industry and target the people who are dealing in criminal acquisition of property.”

Detective Superintendent Russell Tiley from Gwent Police, who is the Welsh representative on the National Metal Theft Working Group, said: β€œThis latest operation is just one of many tactics that we are employing to tackle the theft of metal. We hope that all scrap metal dealers in Wales will sign up to the scheme to help make it difficult for thieves to sell on any scrap metal that they have stolen.”

Anyone who has any information about metal thefts, or those involved in this criminality, to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.